Exposé Online banner

Kate Bush — Aerial
(EMI 0946 3 43960 2 8, 2005, 2CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2006-05-01

Aerial Cover art

As listeners and consumers of music, we generally have contact with artists only through their work, and are only aware of their lives outside music as they present it in their recordings (unless they reach celebrity status – then we can hardly escape them). But all artists naturally have everyday lives, and in Kate Bush’s case, she’s been off living that life and not her musical one, not in public anyway. From the first piano tinkle of her first album back in 1978, it’s been clear that she was a singular entity, creating music not so much for the world at large as for some private world only she inhabits. Luckily for her, the results have crossed over into our world and even enjoyed success, though the bulk of her output has been too eccentric for the pop charts, from the proggish pop of Never for Ever to the eerie experimentation of The Dreaming. So now, after a gap that almost makes Peter Gabriel look prolific, she is back with a sprawling double CD of new material. Those looking for the brash oddness of some of her earlier work will be initially disappointed at the seeming ordinariness of Aerial, though repeated listening slowly reveals details that no other artist could have produced. She starts off with the charming, bouncy single “King of the Mountain” with its tales of Elvis sightings, and then goes into something only she would attempt (let alone pull off): a song called “π” about a number-obsessed man in which she sings digit after digit in between the verses. Then she gets all medieval on us with the beautiful, if precious, “Bertie,” an ode to her young son backed by antique instruments. The other songs on the first disc continue the diverse path, adding some percolating synthesizers and subtle grooves. The second disc features nine tracks grouped as a suite, an impressionistic journey through a day with recurring themes of birds and artistic endeavor. It’s a marvelous and detailed achievement, with beautiful production and performance throughout, unpredictable and sure to continue to reveal its secrets over the years.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 33, 2005 releases

Related artist(s): Kate Bush, Eberhard Weber

Latest news

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more

2020-07-22
Tim Smith RIP – Tim Smith, leader of the eccentric band Cardiacs, has died at the age of 59 after many years of health problems. Cardiacs was known for intense and complicated music that combined punk energy with the rhythmic and harmonic sophistication of progressive rock. » Read more

2020-07-12
Judy Dyble RIP – Singer-songwriter Judy Dyble, who was a founding member of Fairport Convention and one of the distinctive voices of the 60s folk revival in Britain, has died at the age of 71. Her passing came at the end of a long illness, though which she continued to work. » Read more

2020-07-06
Ennio Morricone RIP – Famed composer Ennio Morricone has died at the age of 91. The creator of scores for more than 500 movies, some of his works have become the most recognizable sounds in the history of cinema. His soundtracks for Sergio Leone's Westerns made from 1964 to 1971, are iconic landmarks in film music, but he also composed for dramas, comedies, and other genres. He won the Academy Award for Best Original Score in 2016 for The Hateful Eight. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Roine Stolt - The Flower King – It's been a while since we've heard from former Kaipa guitarist Roine Stolt. This album received a lot of hype recently, and claiming to be a symphonic rock album from a member of Kaipa, I...  (1995) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues