Kate Bush – Hounds of Love
Acquired: Half Price Books, Used, 2010
I can trace my Kate Bush liking back to a Decemberists show where Petra Haden sang “Wuthering Heights” and I had one of those “What the fuck is that song” moments and looked it up via a couple of lines I'd jotted down when I got home. Somehow, this is her fifth album. I don't know anything about Kate Bush other than that I really like this record and it's sort of an isolated thing. I did not know that there were four records before this (other than maybe the Kick Inside) and I suddenly want to hear them all because I like this record a lot. There are just so many massive jams. “Running Up That Hill,” “Cloudbusting,” “The Big Sky,” the title track, and a couple more I'm forgetting. There are also a couple of really weird ones, like the one where it sounds like the devil is doing backing vocals (I think it's “Waking the Witch” but I'm not sure) and the weird Irish-laced “Jig of Life.” They might as well be two separate albums, side A and side B, and maybe that's why Side A is dubbed Hounds of Love and Side B is dubbed The Ninth Wave. It's a rather ingenious method of song-releasing. One side is the monster, synthed out pop songs and the other is lush and much more organic with a folk bent. All of it is glued together by Kate Bush's marvelous, unfuckwithable voice that has become the siren song for a number of modern female vocalists (most notably Joanna Newsom, who wears the Kate Bush badge on her shoulder but very much has gone her own way). I can't really say anything about this album other than that it's, you know, pretty great. I've been listening to it a lot lately because it's been the next album on the docket for the record catalog but I just haven't had time to write about it because I've been too busy exploring the record, which really, is the best compliment I can come up with. This record is so good I can't even distract myself. It sounds remarkably fresh for being as old as me.
I distinctly remember Chris Clark forcing me to watch this video sometime within the past couple of years. It's a great song. Something about the way she sings "I just know something good is going to happen" is so convincing!