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4.3 out of 5 stars 378 customer reviews

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Audio CD, November 8, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Since she catapulted to international fame with Wuthering Heights over 25 years ago, Kate Bush has been one of music's most reknowned artists. Aerial, the first new studio album from Kate since 1993's The Red Shoes, marks the return of Kate to the music scene with twelve new songs written and produced by Kate at her home studio in England. The new album includes her incredible new single 'King Of the Mountain'. Columbia. 2005.

It's often said that a musician's debut represents the culmination of a lifetime's worth of experiences, but their sophomore effort is usually derived from just the intervening year. By waiting 12 years between The Red Shoes and her new double CD, Aerial, Kate Bush has tried to regain that lifetime. It's a remarkably coherent recording, reflecting the unique world of sound and spirit Bush has inhabited since her debut. The first disc, subtitled A Sea of Honey, is a suite of personal reveries. It ranges from "King of the Mountain," a contemplation of unbridled celebrity and its isolation that references Elvis and Citizen Kane, to the piano-and-voice study "Mrs. Bartolozzi," an ode to household chores whose chorus is "Sloshy sloshy sloshy sloshy, get that dirty shirty clean." With its Depeche Mode-influenced synth pads, electro pulses, and lyric cadences, "King of the Mountain" is vintage Bush pop. But many of the songs attain more epic proportions, like the dynamic "Joanni," a hymn to Joan of Arc. It's the second disc--a suite called A Sky of Honey--on which Bush really comes into her own. Using metaphors of the turning of the day and the flight of birds, she orchestrates a meditation on the cycles of life. Musically expansive, she weaves her compositions out of birdsong, subtle orchestrations, and jazz trios, showing herself at her experimental best. Embracing her relatively new motherhood, as well as the death of her mother, Aerial is a deeply personal album, and a welcome return from one of pop music's true icons and vocal wonders. --John Diliberto

More Kate Bush

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Never for Ever

The Dreaming

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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. King of the Mountain
  2. Pi
  3. Bertie
  4. Mrs. Bartolozzi
  5. How to Be Invisible
  6. Joanni
  7. A Coral Room

Disc: 2

  1. Prelude
  2. Prologue
  3. An Architect's Dream
  4. Painter's Link
  5. Sunset
  6. Aerial Tal
  7. Somewhere in Between
  8. Nocturn
  9. Aerial

Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 8, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Sony
  • ASIN: B000BHNLX0
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (378 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #142,077 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
I've been listening to Kate for many years now, but around the time Red Shoes came out, I thought Kate ceased to be a mad genius and was now only a garden-variety genius.
And this album seemed a little ho-hum at first hearing. Sea of Honey has wonderfully campy prog rock feel, but also a heavy dose of sticky melancholy. There is pastoral tone (a la Lark Ascending) and mood of summer music complete with swooshing Hawaiian waves, cutesy touches (Italian theme, voices of Bertie and Harris and all these bloody birds) to the Sky of Honey. Me, I always loved the freaky side of Kate- Kite, Violin, Get out of my House, Waking the Witch, Walk Straight Down The Middle, Lily - rather than mushiness of This Woman's Work, and that's only hinted at on Aerial. And other than perfectly controlled King of the Hill and Pi, vocally Kate likes to let the quiver in her voice take over, and often loses pitch control in the lower registers.
And with all this, after listening to the entire album a few times, I am completely taken with Aerial.
It should be treated as a whole package. For starters, the album cover is great, the sound wave and sunset blended into surprisingly stark and beautiful picture. Inside the CD booklet, the pastel paintings, and photos of laundry and Kate's son flashing his milky whites are paired with a picture of someone wearing a supremely creepy "Indus Bird Mask", fashioned out of dead bird. A touch of shaman in Ms Domestic Goddess. No wonder Kate has been a muse to the likes of Outkast and Coil; there is more to her than meets the eye or the casual ear.
The lyrics have the beautiful simplicity of Yeats poetry.
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Format: Audio CD
When I was 17, my now sister-in-law let me borrow Kate Bush's "The Whole Story", which kicked off what has no been a nearly eleven year love affair with Bush's music. Through virtually this entire time, I've heard the seemingly endless rumors about the new album being "worked on". As one would expect, eventually I pretty much gave up hope.

Imagine my surprise when a release date for "Aerial" was announced, a double CD, to be released just over twelve years after 1993's "The Red Shoes". And of course, you can imagine the level of anticipation in myself and probably every other Kate Bush fan out there.

The double album runs only a hair over eighty minutes long, but is split more conceptually-- the first disc, titled "A Sea of Honey", is a collection of unrelated songs. The second, titled "A Sky of Honey", is a reflection on the passage of a day.

Certainly the material on the first disc covers a lot of ground-- Bush seems to pretty much pick up where she left off, although her arrangements show a downright stunning depth as instruments swirl in and out of the mix. Opener and leadoff single "King of the Mountain" is a good example both of this and of the best sort of Kate Bush pop song-- it opens with electronic percussion and synths and eventually live drums joining to create a mid-tempo loping beat until the second verse where an electric guitar shows up and take the focus. Over all of this, Bush sings passionately about man becoming a myth, overt references to Elvis Presley and "Citizen Kane" throughout.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have to admit it took me a while to really understand this album. It's so complex... and beautiful, really. At first listen there were a few songs that hit me right off, the evocative and sad Coral Room, Sunset, Bertie (a love song to her son), the throbbing Pi, How to be Invisible (which is a lot like the old Kate) a few others, but it's only after you've really listened to the whole package, with headphones, without distractions, do you really appreciate the labor of love that this record represents. She's going in some new directions -- more jazzy, more subtle. Some reviewers complained that this isn't the old Kate. Well, the old Kate grew up, had a child, and because she sings from her heart, of course her subject matter is going to be different. She's a much more mature artist. This has got to be album of the year. Oh, and the design of the package is amazing too. All I can say is wow.
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Format: Audio CD
Twelve years is a long time to wait for a record,. But fans will not be disappointed by a record that is unique and could only come from the Bush cannon.

The disc is split in two distinct pieces; the first a Sea of Honey are a collection of according to the singer "just Kate songs" and side two a song cycle about the waning of summer day, part told in bird song.

I have now listened to this album five or six times, and it wasn't quite what I has expected from the reviews. First of all I has expected disc 1 to be straightforward, and disc two to be as one reviewer put it: "properly properly eccentric"

But things are the other way round. True side one is a collection of great but unconnected songs, but it is here that the unexpected shines through. Thematically the opener King of Mountain deals with the sense of unmanageable fame via Elvis and Citizen Kane, and then moves onto Pi, with La Bush musing about obsession and infinity, singing the number exquisitely to umpteen decimal places. If Bjork did this it would look pretentious, but with Bush it actually works.

Bertie, an unconditional ode of love to her son, which is simple and pretty. Its harpsichord and simple production allows the subject matter to work against the odds. Mrs Bartolozzi, is equally simple in its production, just Kate and a grand piano, prompting many fans to suggest that this sounds like the early Cathy demos. Bush sceptics will laugh at the lyrics, which muse about daily chores containing a chorus of washing machine repeated thrice. But after two or three listens these images of doing the washing suggest loneliness, and had the reviewer wondering whether the woman felt imprisoned domestically or was going slowly mad, because she was grieving by washing her dead husband's clothes.
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