50 Words For Snow
Fish People/ EMI
Since the May release of Director’s Cut, a Kate Bush resurgence has been in effect. From Noel Fielding’s Wurthering Heights dance for Red Nose Day to Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan busting out into song while driving through “wiley, windy moors” in their TV series The Trip. Kate seems to be popping up and gaining momentum in the 21st century culture, something she hasn’t been a big part of until now.
After releasing Director’s Cut, an album of updated versions songs from her albums The Sensual World and The Red Shoes, she announced she would be releasing an album of new material this year. Every Kate Bush fan had their heart stop. This would be her first album of new songs since 2006’s Arial. Anticipation and expectations started mounting for this album called 50 Words For Snow.
Snowflake, the album’s first track sets up the snow themed mood of the album. With Kate featured heavily on the piano, featured vocals from her son, Albert, and introspective stories told though lyrics.The songs that follow, Lake Tahoe and Misty, carry on the classical and cool jazz musical themes as well as the lyrical stories. All three songs bring to mind the Ninth Wave from Kate’s Hounds Of Love.
Wild Man brings up the energy with Steve Gadd’s drumming coming to the fore front. A koto sounding instrument creates a melodic rhythm for Kate’s whisper like voice to sit on while voices hum and ahh beneath.
Elton John lends his powerful baritone voice to Snowed In At Wheeler St. The duet between him and Kate tells a story of on again, off again lovers. Their emotionally strong performances make this the strongest song of the 7.
The pulsing musical backdrop of 50 Words For Snow make you forget that the title track is just listing fifty words for snow. Stephen Fry adds a posh feel to the reading out of the different words.
Piano and voice of Among Angels makes for a beautiful closing track. The strings and glockenspiel add a beautiful pad for Kate to float upon.
50 Words For Snow proves that Kate Bush is still one of the most innovative and talented songwriters of our time. The long running time might put off casual listeners but it really shouldn’t distract from the genius and musicality of Kate. This is probably her best release since Hounds of Love and should be in every music lover’s collection.