Kate Bush's "Aerial" - 2CD.

Discussion in 'Music & Music Streaming Services' started by slackbladder, Nov 7, 2005.

  1. slackbladder

    slackbladder
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    It's been 12 years. 2 CD's.
    Disc 1 "A Sea of Honey". 7 tracks, 38:02 in length.
    Favourite tracks - Pi, How to be Invisible, Joanni and Coral Room.
    Particulalrly like the vocal on Pi. And Kate speaking French on "Joanni" - ooh la la! :D
    Disc 2 "A Sky of Honey". 9 tracks, 42:02 in length.
    Favourite tracks - Prologue, Sunset, Nocturn, Aerial.
    "Nocturn" and "Aerial" are the ones I like the most. But I have only listened to it twice.
    If it had only been the first CD I would have been a little disappointed. However "A Sky of Honey" alone is worth the wait.
    Some reviewer I read didn't like Nocturn at all...what!? Maybe it's the length. Many songs are over 6 minutes long. "Nocturn" is 8:34 and "Aerial" 7:52. I don't know of any Kate Bush song that is so long. Yet I love it.
    As has been said by some reviewers this is not for the "iPod" generation...thank God. I could only listen to this CD loud in my living room and in its entirety, "A Sky of Honey" inparticular.
    I like the sound of the music too. Kate's voice has never sounded better to my ears. And yet, for all the years, it does not sound "over" produced. Genuinely subtle and well crafted.
    Of course opinion will vary. But I'm more than happy with what I have singing out of my speakers. :clap:
     
  2. shadowritten

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    Am jealous.

    Pre-ordered the album weeks ago on Amazon. Usually, they ensure it's with you on the day of release (sometimes, earlier - which is naughty, but who cares?). Even when they email to say they've despatched on a Sunday afternoon - as they did to me yesterday - you can generally expect your purchase on the Monday.

    But this time, nothing. I'm expecting to wait till maybe Wednesday. And I'm annoyed!

    Don't think I'll be using Amazon for CD pre-order again ...


    Incidentally, I'll post my thoughts on the album once I've heard it. It'll have to go a long way to beat her top three releases, though:

    1) Hounds Of Love (the 'B' side of which was actually a separate, mini 'concept' album, 'The Ninth Wave');

    2) The Dreaming;

    3) The Sensual World.
     
  3. neilo

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  4. shadowritten

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    Mmm ... it seemed a bit 'disjointed' as an album for me. And Kate's voice has worsened (IMO) since the Hounds Of Love - the result, no doubt, of her heavy Silk Cut prediliction (she's also fond of the wacky baccy, I'm told).

    I liked Song Of Solomon best, as it's the most 'pared down'. The opening of Why Should I Love You? also gives me goosebumps, reminding me (for some reason) of Christmas in the album's year of release: 1993 :confused:
     
  5. slackbladder

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    Actually I pre-ordered with Amazon too. But as it was to arrive on Tuesday I thought "Heck, I'll go out and buy it" which I did from a small independant record shop. I'll just return the Amazon CD when it comes.
    Funnily enough when I bought it it cost £10.99 whereas with Amazon it's £14.47. Even with paying postage I'm a good £3 better off!

    It may be difficult for a new album to beat ones that have been listened to and cherished for many years. I feel "Hounds of Love" is unsurpassable. Most artists have one album that is particularly well loved, though which one that is varies from person to person.
    However, depending on what it is about her music you like you may find this album is either bang on or misses the mark. Obviously not everyone will agree but I'd only be annoyed if it were dismissed out-of-hand; it's too good to be inconsequential.

    I like her voice on this album. It does sound mature yet does'nt seem at all strained. Also she's dropped that "echo" she often used on her voice. It used to really annoy me. Now she sounds far more vibrant and clearer. But that's just my opinion! :D
     
  6. Gary D

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  7. shadowritten

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    1) King Of The Mountain

    Didn't like it all that much when I first heard it on Radio 2 (still don't think it's a single), but in the context of the first of the two CDs in Kate's new album, it makes more sense. Definitely warming to it.

    2) Pi

    Wonderful arrangement, intriguing lyrics (all those numbers!), and a good, round sound. Like this.

    3) Bertie

    Guessing you're either going to like or loathe this one. I like it. Very Irish folksy feel, and even a bit Tudoresque/madrigal like, I thought?

    4) Mrs. Bartolozzi

    Quite nice, though the lyrics seem a bit naive. Will have to reserve judgement on this track.

    5) How To Be Invisible

    Biggest disappointment on disc one. Was led to believe by some insiders/online sources that this was something of a stand out track. On first hearing, I disagree. Seems like the sort of thing Kate was writing in her youth.

    6) Joanni

    ABSOLUTELY LOVE THIS TRACK!! My favourite on disc one, along with ...

    7) A Coral Room

    Beautiful, classic Kate. I heard it, and reminisences of her wonderful early track Warm & Soothing came to mind (there are parallels in the lyrics, actually). Typically Kate, typically fab!


    Overall impression so far: Great production values, much better than The Red Shoes.


    Will report on A Sky Of Honey later ...
     
  8. shadowritten

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    1) Prelude

    Beautiful. No other word for it.

    2) Prologue

    Equally beautiful.

    3) An Architect's Dream

    Inspired.

    4) The Painter's Link

    Even with Rolf Harris singing on it, still gorgeous.

    5) Sunset

    Jazz influences abound, warm bass predominates, Latin ryhthms conclude - absolutely stunning!

    6) Aerial Tal

    Weird, but delicious.

    7) Somewhere In Between

    Another instant favourite on this album. Just a little like some of the B side stuff Kate was producing around the time of the Hounds Of Love - though with much lusher instrumental arrangment. The most 'regular' song on the whole album.

    8) Nocturn

    Despite being a LONG track, THIS should've been the first single from the album!! Absolutely superb - and so catchy, you won't be able to stop it playing in your head once you've heard it. The sumptuous bassline makes for an outstanding track.

    9) Aerial

    Powerful, strange and beautiful. Put me in mind of the closing track of Deep Forest's great Boheme album, for some reason? A perfect close to a perfect suite of nine tracks.


    Overall impression of this disc: Outstanding. This disc alone can rival the best of her best work on Hounds Of Love. A rich soundscape that is everything I could've hoped for and more; it builds in energy, texture and complexity as you listen from tracks 1-9, the tempi steadily increasing. In many ways, this is the album proper: A Sea Of Honey is merely the appetiser!


    Overall first impression of Aerial the album? A triumph!! :clap: Has just jumped to (perhaps) joint first place in my affections with Hounds Of Love. Seems waiting 12 years to release this was a masterstroke on Kate's part.

    I'll feedback any more thoughts once I've listened on headphones (before doing which, I never pass final judgement on an album).


    PS: I pity those with iPods; A Sky Of Honey REALLY has to be listened to without annoying gaps in the playback.
     
  9. slackbladder

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    I agree completely. Like most "concept" albums it needs to be listened in its entirety in one go and preferably with no interruptions. It's the same when I listen to "Dark Side of the Moon" for example, even though some tracks can be listened to alone.
    Listened to it again last night and "Nocturn" and "Aerial" are currently my favourites due partly to the foot-tappingness of the beat but also because it sounds so immersive. I don't think I've ever heard a Kate Bush song as driving as the last two ("Aerial" inparticular), with the exception of the "Running Up That Hill" 12" re-mix.
    Anyway, I don't see listening to anything else for the next week or so! :smashin:
     
  10. shadowritten

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    Pi and Joanni sound less impressive through headphones - How To Be Invisible and Mrs. Bartolozzi much more so.

    Stand-out track for me on A Sea Of Honey, though, is definitely A Coral Room - simple, and deeply moving.

    And A Sky Of Honey through headphones? Outstanding from start to finish! Sunset seems to be the album's overall 'title' track (even though there's a track called Aerial), as it mentions both A Sea Of Honey and A Sky Of Honey. And Somewhere In Between is just fabulous played direct into your ears!
     
  11. bowenjones

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    My anticipation levels have just increased ten fold :smashin:
    Roll on tomorrow when i'll finally be able to listen to it!
     
  12. per-Sony-fied

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    Still waiting to hear it :(

    Ordered the Japanese version over a week ago and and looks like delivery wont be until the 14th! Damn :mad:
     
  13. shadowritten

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    Seriously, if this album doesn't make it someday to the list of top 100 pop and rock albums ever recorded, then there's no justice. I'll go further: if this isn't recognised as the album of 2005 (difficult to quantify, I appreciate), then I'll assume Coldplay have the record industry in their back pockets!
     
  14. shadowritten

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    Four complete listens today to both CDs of this album, and I'm now convinced beyond doubt that this is one of the finest albums I've ever heard. In fact, I'm on the brink of confessing (as I rarely do about albums) that I actually like EVERY track on BOTH CD! I can't even bring myself to say this about my favourite Tori Amos album (Boys For Pele) which I absolutely adore.

    But here's the big question: is Aerial BETTER than Hounds Of Love? Or simply as good as? There are certainly similarities between the two releases:

    Both have an 'A side' containing songs only loosely connected, but not linked in their playback. Both have a 'B side' which is more of a concept affair that tells a story. It's this B side aspect that holds the key. Is A Sky Of Honey superior to The Ninth Wave? Certainly, both flow very naturally from track to track. But listening to A Sky Of Honey again on the HiFi this evening, it just felt so completely right, so seamlessly perfect.

    Any thoughts?
     
  15. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    Although not having heard the Aerial album I would say that Hounds of Love while being a great album suffered/suffers from a recording quality ilk. One that was introduced by the use of Kate Bush's own studio. While it is the material that really matters the ultimate enjoyment is combined when a recording is well made. So to this end I rate the Hounds of Love below some earlier material. Spoilt IMV by congestion, lack of clarity and tight bass.

    Rather like Dire straits album Making Movies. Some excellent tracks on there but ultimately spoilt by a horrendous recording mix. I have rather been hoping for a super charged version for years but nowt appeared apart from a Half speed master Vinyl edition (and Sony's SBM CD that probably was worse) which only went a small way to improvement.
     
  16. Nike

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    Agree with the previous comments on HOL production quality. The thing that amazed me though, having just dug-out my copy - It's 20 years old now!

    Based on the favourable comments posted here, I shall have to get the new one now.
     
  17. bowenjones

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    Well, i've listened to both cd's a couple of times now and to quote a line from one of the songs ...."It was just so Beautiful" :thumbsup:
    This album has exceeded my expectations by a long way. The first cd on it's own contains some wonderful songs and would have been great as a standalone album, but what can you say about the second cd :eek: It had me captivated from the opening prelude to the very last note of Aerial! I had my reservations when I heared that Rolf Harris was on the album but, beleive me, he so fits into the "story". Absolutely stunning album :smashin:
     
  18. slackbladder

    slackbladder
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    It may be worth checking out her new website if you have'nt already.
    katebush.com

    Oh, and I do like the cover. I finally realised on Tuesday that it's the soundwave of a blackbird on the cover. Nice tv ad too.
     
  19. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    For anyone whom has not yet purchased. Tesco are selling (in some stores) for £9.77!

    Somewhat grieved as I couldn't wait for the Jap version I've ordered and bought it from Smiths yesterday with a 10% discount for £13.49 :(
     
  20. CJROSS

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    Stunning album, still getting my head around it. Truly stunning is the first thought, you know you are lisetning to something truly special. If it takes as long for the next album it will be worth the wait. Thank god there are interesting artists around like Kate Bush.
     
  21. bowenjones

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    This album cost me over £60! (That's if you include upgrading to a pair of Sennheiser's as my old headphones didn't do her music justice :D ).
     
  22. shadowritten

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    Midway through the last track on A Sky Of Honey (Aerial, the title track), there are blackbird calls. After each one, listen to Kate's laughter: it mimics each call almost perfectly. Genius! And subtle.
     
  23. slackbladder

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    I only know of one other piece of music that has a Blackbird on it and someone mimicking it. Jeff Becks album "You Had it Coming" on the penultimate track, except this time it's a guitar copying the Blackbird.
     
  24. per-Sony-fied

    per-Sony-fied
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    It's in the trees, it's coming............. that be my Jap produced Aerial CD :D
     
  25. CJROSS

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    Sea of Honey :

    Pi, Bertie, How to be invisible & Coral Room. All are standout tracks Bertie and I cant help thinking of my son when she is singing that song, a lovely uplifting song that warms the soul, Has Lovely string work – seems like harpsichord and the cello is beautiful. First hooked me into the album. Pi – nice metronome drum pulse running thru the song, quite a simple idea but works wonderfully on the system, How To Be Invisible – good rocking tune (for Kate Bush) & Coral Room is very reminiscent of her best work (to my tastes) with piano & voice – This Womans work from Sensual World. Very innotive sound wise and a few nice ideas that really work well.

    Not immediately sold on the King of the Mountain myself but it has some nice moments.

    Will get my head round a Sky Of Honey and post vibes on that soon. Cant stop listening to the first disc though.

    Right that’s me sorted on Sky of Honey, Architects Dream what a lovely tune, Sunset – very nice, Aeriel TAL quirky but enjoyable – kids love the bird sounds, Somewhere in Betweeen – a beautiful sonic soundscape, Nocturn also lovely.

    Not heard an album that pours from the speakers in such fashion for a long while. why cant every CD sound like this, actually shows how good CD can sound.

    A 10/10 record. Will be buying the vinyl pressing no matter what the cost
     
  26. IanW

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    Listened to both CDs now, loving it. :thumbsup:

    Ian.
     
  27. PaulBoy

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    ... how spooky - just got me some new Senns too!
    The album is superb apart from one track (Mrs Bartolozzi) which is most bizarre :eek:
    Not to keen on the packaging either - slip in CD holders arent my cup of Darjeeling :nono:
    Fantastic sound on headphones or flat out on the AV setup
    My cat freaked out at the bird noises too & this is now her fav CD :hiya:
    Paul
     
  28. CJROSS

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    Yep Paulboy, a weird track - not my cup of tea either, sounds to me like the story of a woman trudgingly going on about her daily washing housework chores ie the refrain of Washing machine, washing machine …., pretty wacky and passes me right by.

    I agree about the CD sleeve too. Excellent way to introduce scratches to the CD surface.

    Still though the best release of 2006 IMHO.
     
  29. PaulBoy

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    CJRoss - was that a Freudian slip "best album of 2006" or were you being prophetic?
    I have used a double CD jewel case for my copy and found the booklet fits perfectly!
    Best CD of 2005 apart from "Deadwing" although as that's a DVD-A maybe it doesn't count (?)
    Paul ;)
     
  30. per-Sony-fied

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    It is! It's all about her life at home with her toddler. Hate it too. The Pi song is equally weird... singing about a mathmatical sum. I wonder how correct all those numbers to decimal places are? I know it to 9 so Kate is right upto there :thumbsup:
    Bought the Jap version which has CD inner sleeves and a slightly larger cover... hence slightly larger CD slits. Must admit tho' could've put the UK version cd's in inner covers or digi-pak form.

    Personally I hate the whole idea of CD packaging. The only one I really like is the JVC XRCD disc's that come in hardback booklet form (most do) with an inner protective sleeve for the disc.
     

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