Kate Bush’s triumphant double-disc return, Aerial, finds her voice in top form, and her songwriting still strong after a decade and a half in hiding.
The first disc has radio-ready highlights concerned with characters drawn to a higher calling, like the irresistible “King of the Mountain” (about Elvis) and “Joanni” (a stirring tribute to Joan of Arc).
The second disc is a concept album about the creative impulse that only Bush could conceive.
While her willingness to throw off inhibitions and get wacky sometimes bogs the album down… there’s too much giggling, too much of Bush trying to mimic birdsong, and one strong song gets spoiled by a “spishy-splashy” refrain… she’s still dreaming larger and more ambitiously than almost any other artist working today.
The style isn’t anything groundbreaking, but she certainly can’t be accused of compromising her vision to become accessible.
In five words or less: Bold, imaginative, dreamy… welcome back!