Kate Bush returns with an unusual album that is both old and new, and brilliant as always. Released in the US, May 17th on her own label, Fish People, the new record entitled The Director's Cut contains Kates select musical revisions from 1989s The Sensual World and 1993s The Red Shoes and its billed as The Directors Cut.
Since her 1978 debut, The Kick Inside, Kate Bush has carved a very individual and innovative path as a musician, composer, visual artist, technician and performer. The list of people influenced by Kates work is vast and varied. Some more obvious than others like Fiona Apple, Prince, Bat For Lashes, Goldfrapp, Antony & The Johnsons, Tori Amos, Bjork, Outkasts Andre 3000, Regina Spektor, and Joanna Newsom to name a few. A tech whiz in the studio and an innovative visual performer Kate was way ahead of the present crop of pop stars (you monsters know who you are). She's done a lot of cool and just plain weird shit that never comes off as stupid or pretentious. Therefore, it makes complete sense she would go back and renovate songs she felt could use a lift. In a recent interview Kate said I wanted to revisit these tracks because thought I could breathe new life into them. I think of this as a new album. Well she certainly did and it definitely sounds like it.
The Director's Cuts vocals and drums are all new performances with three of the tracks being completely rerecorded. "Flower Of The Mountain" which is "The Sensual World," updated with the text written by James Joyce, not Kates original lyric. Kates maturing vocal range is immediately evident. Looks like her Minnie Mouse on acid singing days are over. "Deeper Understanding," a song about cyber escapism with ones computer is more timely than it was 22 years ago. Kate gets her son, Albert, on board too, singing the electronically processed computers role. Two of Kates most poignant ballads are also present here. "This Womans Work" has been completely redone with a stark ambience and ethereal quality. "Moments of Pleasure" with its melodic simplicity and orchestration stands out in this collection. Kate gets rockin on "The Red Shoes" with its steady guitar rhythms, jumped up synthesizers and newly added maracas. The final track "Rubberband Girl" also kicks it with its very Rolling Stones Sticky Fingers/Exile On Mains Street thrashing guitar sound and vocal attack.
The press release I was given states Kate is now working on new material which will hopefully see the light of day sooner than later. Whatever the time frame is, if its coming at you from Kate Bush, then its definitely worth the wait. -Michael Levine