Monthly Archives: March 2017

Kate Bush – Hounds Of Love

Hounds of Love is a self made album that any fan of pop music should make an effort to listen to at least once. Bush’s use of effects and overdubbing as well as synthesizers is something to be admired. The album was created in a recording studio that Bush built herself in the barn behind her family house in 1983, there she was able to work at her own pace because paying for studio time was too much for her to afford. Bush started as a child star at a time when the music industry was  stagnant, many companies were looking for the next big thing and Bush was a promising opportunity.  Hounds of Love is comprised of lots of small demos that Bush made and then added to them over time, redoing them or adding to them. The album has been described as ”dramatic, moving and wildly, unashamedly, beautifully romantic” by Sounds Magazine. However a lot of the publicity used to promote the album was more focused on Bush’s body as opposed to her musical ability her label EMI promoted her with “a poster of her in a tight pink top that emphasized her breasts” promoting her more as a female body than a legitimate artist. Bush had more success in the UK than she had in the US as many of her songs weren’t radio appropriate. In the sense that most of her music had a visual aspect to it “her genius is still ignored here – a situation that is truly a shame for an artist so adventurous and naturally theatrical” – Spin Magazine. The album consists of several musical styles “traces of classical, operatic, tribal and twisted pop”, the first few songs, particularly Hounds of Love are very pop-y. As the album progresses it becomes more experimental and obscure. The best example being “Waking the Witch”, this song seems to be comprised of recorded phrases and synth effects and then there’s a single piano playing in a lower register. Out of all the songs on her album this is the only one that I wouldnt consider music and more of contemporary piece. Overall I would recommend this album to others, at least to say “I’ve listened to the best piece of work Kate Bush has ever made”.

Aphex Twin – Syro

As I listen to Syro, one thing comes to mind “I don’t like this”. The album is a mix of techno, glitch, jungle, ambient and parts sound like deconstructed drum and bass. When I listen to this, however, all I hear are noises being played over a drum loop, I appreciate that there is a lot going on in each of the tracks and that it takes time to create something listenable but the sounds and tracks on this album seem to be very niche and would only appeal to someone who is interested in this genre of music. I found myself skipping through the album on my second listen to see if there was anything about it that I enjoyed other than the closing track “aisatsana[102]“. Often I would find small sections of tracks that I liked only then to have the section ruined by the inclusion of a synth that sounded out of tune. While listening to the album I did research on what others had thought of this album and to my surprise many were giving this a glowing report which I found strange as many say the album as a whole is “a banging reminder of why the Cornish raver is one of music’s true innovators” or “ utterly engrossing and remains, somewhat unbelievably, on a completely different planet” and yet having looked through Spotify the one thing that grabs my attention is that the last song on the album is the one that is played the most and not by a short amount either it has been replayed 22 million times, the next track that comes close to that is 4 million. The rest of the album isn’t much better ranging from 750,000 to 1.5 million. Surely an album of this critical acclaim shouldn’t have such a sporadic listener base?  While an albums success should not be derived by simple statistics, they are there for a reason and the general public seem to prefer the closing song to the rest of the album. Aisatsana is a beautifully jarring piece, the light piano notes along with the bird songs in the back create a contrasting piece that sounds both serene and disconnected. I wouldn’t recommend this album but I would recommend that you listen to the last song.