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4.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware
I'm hoping that there aren't any Kate Bush fans out there in cyberspace who don't own a copy of The Dreaming. An impossible sacrilege.
The Dreaming scares me. I don't mean "scares me" as in "Marilyn Manson scares me." It's 2 in the morning and the house is dead quiet, then I'm startled by the sound of someone turning the knob on the front door. Like The Dreaming,...
Published on June 25 2000 by dev1

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Dream on...
Steady on, people. The Dreaming is a good album, and Kate Bush's necessary first step away from the traditional piano-and-voice style which had characterized her first three albums. But although it is good... how can I put this? It's just not THAT good. Her usual flair for melody almost disappears down a dark alleyway of drum machines and Rolf Harris, and whilst the...
Published on April 24 2001 by skywatcher


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4.0 out of 5 stars Buyer Beware, June 25 2000
By 
dev1 (Baltimore) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dreaming (Audio CD)
I'm hoping that there aren't any Kate Bush fans out there in cyberspace who don't own a copy of The Dreaming. An impossible sacrilege.
The Dreaming scares me. I don't mean "scares me" as in "Marilyn Manson scares me." It's 2 in the morning and the house is dead quiet, then I'm startled by the sound of someone turning the knob on the front door. Like The Dreaming, that scares me! Why? First there's the title. "Dreaming" is a verb; the act of visiting a fascinating world while asleep. But Kate uses the phrase "The Dreaming" as thought she's referring to a person, place or thing. She's taken an "action" and made it into something concrete, something one can touch. Next is the cover: a photograph of a seductive Kate (Mrs. Houdini) with a key hidden inside her mouth. She's about to pass this tool of escape to Mr. Houdini in a kiss. Very alluring, very erotic. But it's Kate's eyes that give the photograph (and The Dreaming) an air of the unnatural. Kate's not peering into the eyes of her affection, but into something eerie far in the distance . 'Pull Out The Pin' is filled with bone-chilling fear and blood-curdling horror. 'Leave It Open' contains the frightening lines "Harm is in us. Harm in you and me." 'Get Out Of My House' is as unnerving as my 2 AM tale.
The most unsettling composition is 'Sat In Your Lap.' For me, it is a stomach-turning confessional with a theme that lies beneath the lyrics: the theme is incest. Many artists attempt dark, forbidding and metaphysical material which usually comes off as comical. The Dreaming isn't the least bit funny. Welcome to the supernatural world of Kate Bush. Buyer Beware.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Kate Bush freaks me out!, April 23 2004
This review is from: Dreaming (Audio CD)
This is probably one of the most original recordings I have ever heard. I first heard this back in the 80's and songs such as "Sat In Your Lap", "The Dreaming", "Suspended In Gaffa", and "There Goes A Tenner" still give me chills till this day. It usually goes for cheap prices nowadays so I suggest picking it up.
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5.0 out of 5 stars one of the best pop (?) albums ever., Feb. 24 2004
By 
This review is from: Dreaming (Audio CD)
Okay, I'm not sure what category of music _The Dreaming_ REALLY belongs to. There is an emphasis on vocals, hooks, and strong melodies, yet the sheer musical eclecticism and wild performance make for something quite beyond your johnny-pop music. Perhaps if she had a discography of 1000 albums and she were very popular, she might be afforded her own section (at the music store: rock, jazz, classical, metal, Kate Bush). But this album's defiance of traditional characterizations is no small part of its allure, nor is it a mean artistic feat. This is Kate Bush' perfect marriage of eclectic imagination, enthralling performance, and acute songcraft. Insofar as experimental pop goes, few albums are this listenable and artistically successful.
And that performance...Bush sings like a woman possessed, essentially becoming different characters in each song. "Houdini", with its sensuous, snaky fretless bass and dreamy atmosphere, has Bush singing at times with the sweetness of the dappling of things and at others like an irate lioness. Musically, she is just as brilliant as she is with her voice. Her sense of rhythm and texture is remarkable, as is her ability to transform her influences (both in terms of artists and musical resources) into something very unique and strange. Her reconstruction of Celtic-folk dance on "Night of the Swallows" is sublime; her tense, driving beat and sneaky vocals on "There Goes a Tenner" is indelibly catchy; "Sat in Your Lap" kicks off with an infectious piano & drums shuffle, and Bush's vocals range from snappy utterances ("I see the people workin', I see it workin' for them") to faux-Broadway wails ("just when I think I'm king, I must admit..."). On "Leave It Open", Bush's singing altered with a malicious, metallic effect and is accompanied by chanting male voices and screeching synths, rising to layers of weird vocals caught up in heavy, gated percussion and terminating with Bush's voice run through tape-effects.
Despite this album's weirdness and somewhat introverted nature, it is catchy and unfailingly fun to listen to. This is gold, I tell you. Very highly recommended!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Let The Weirdness In!, Dec 24 2003
This review is from: Dreaming (Audio CD)
By far Bush's darkest AND most eccentric hour. Percussive, dense and lush, not a musical genre is left untouched as a corcucopia of weird musical instraments seam in perfectly with early Fairlight sampling technology. Bush whispers, moans, and screams throughought ten tracks that deal with personal failings and humanity's capacity for wrongdoing. What should be a very weird and unsettling album is smoothed out by immaculate production, rendering it instead an extremely quirkly yet oddly listenable experience. It seems likely that the production airbrushes somewhat over the impact the album is trying to evoke, maybe the only thing that keeps 'The Dreaming' from being a perfect article of pure genius.
Best Tracks: There Goes a Tenner, Night Of The Swallow, Get Out Of My House.
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5.0 out of 5 stars In the Dreaming, Kate lets the weirdness in full blast, Dec 15 2003
By 
Daniel J. Hamlow (Narita, Japan) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Dreaming (Audio CD)
Never For Ever was proving ground for Kate Bush's experimental weirdness. Her 1982 followup, The Dreaming, taken after the aboriginal concept of a link to God or heaven, takes that direction to the core and is Kate's most innovative and weirdest (in a great sense) album ever. Weird vocal stylings, clever instrumentation and lyrics characterize this album. The engaging single "Sat In Your Lap" is about someone who's too lazy to work, favoring the ivory tower of the intellectual, but has the misconception that "knowledge something that is sat in your lap." In the end, she sings "I hold a cup of wisdom, But there is nothing within. My cup, she never overfloweth, And 'tis I that moan- and groaneth."
"There Goes A Tenner" is about a heist that goes awry, with Kate affecting a slight cockney accent in parts and featuring a music hall-like piano. Throughout there are some male vocal interjections, such as the police and that classic line "What's all this, then?" Funniest lyric: "I hope you remember/To treat the gelignite tenderly for me."
"Pull Out The Pin" seems to be about a Vietnamese lying in ambush for an American soldier, ready to pull out the pin and toss the grenade at him. In the chorus, Kate's voice rises to a frenzied pitch when she sings "I love life." The sobriety of the song is underlined: "Just one thing in it/me or him."
I don't know what the heck gaffa is, as in "Suspended In Gaffa" and its skipping music-hall piano and a quick one-two-three string waltz, but the girl in there is clearly a timid soul, scared of change, unwilling to be a Pandora.
Kate "lets the weirdness in" in "Leave It Open." Her vocals are in many styles, distorted lower register, echoing high-pitched girlish, stretched tape vocals, and wailing. As for the weirdness, the male refrain keeps repeating, "Harm in us, but the power to arm."
The droning weird title track is about life in the bush, no, not Kate, but in the Australian desert, where the habits of white man play havoc with nature, be it hitting kangaroos in the land rover or exploiting aborigine land for mineral wealth. "The civilised keep alive/The territorial war./See the light ram through the gaps in the land./Erase the race that claim the place/And say we dig for ore, Or dangle devils in a bottle/And push them from the pull of the bush" demonstrates that "civilizing mission"
"Night of the Swallow" is about helping an escaped criminal by a hired plane, the swallow representing freedom. There's some Uileann pipes that give this a Celtic tinge during the refrain.
The lonely, one-sided, and reincarnated soul in "All The Love" wants people to love her, but is oblivious to the other people, represented by a young boy singing "We needed you to love us too. We wait for your move." Also present is the observation that dying brings out the grief and love and how she's turned on by the attention. The sighs and multiple phone message machines at the end is an interesting touch.
The soft piano ballad "Houdini" and some of the lyrics incorporate the album cover, where Houdini gets the key that'll unbind him from the water tank trick by kissing his assistant, who has the key in her mouth. Her bellowing voice comes in here: "With your spit still on my lip, you hit the water" and there are moments when she wishes he'd drown. When I heard the line "Rosabel believe" I thought it was "Roosevelt bleed" and I thought "What the...?" There is a nice lyrical string section that plays after the bellowing bits.
"Get Out Of My House" is a really bizarre one, told from the point of view of a woman with a house analogy incorporated, telling a man to, well... There are some erotic overtones "no stranger's feet will enter me/I wash the panes/I clean the stains" And in line with cleaning of the house, it seems to imply that men make a mess of her life, but there are multiple meanings, as the house also represents her neurotic mental psyche, as it's full of her madness, mistakes, and fight. She screams out the title, and even bellows like a mule (!!!) to demonstrate her stubbornness in not letting anyone in.
One of the weirdest but most wonderful from Kate Bush. Even though she seemed to go mainstream in her followup, she continued the innovation of the Dreaming in the concept album portion.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best by the best, Nov. 20 2003
By 
Francois Bloemhof (Durbanville, Cape Province South Africa) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dreaming (Audio CD)
My favourite album by my favourite singer. Kate Bush, where are you now that we need you - in other words, now that Celine Dion has taken absolute control of the airwaves? On this, Kate's most rewarding album precisely because it's her most "difficult", every track takes you to a different area of her ever-exploring mind. No safe pop fodder here - in fact, none of these tracks ever received airplay in South Africa. Boldly pushing back boundaries to show how broad her musical vision had become via her three previous albums, Kate offers ten diverse stories laced with lyrical and instrumental innovation. It starts with a bang and ends with one, with no dull patches in-between. It was a commercial failure in comparison to her previous releases, but then again so what - the Spice Girls were a commercial success.
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5.0 out of 5 stars There's 3 before, and 3 after, but none top this one!, Nov. 8 2003
By 
This review is from: Dreaming (Audio CD)
It was the fall of 2002 and my second year in college. I was talking to my English professor and he made a comment about the shirt I wore to class, the cover of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. He said, "best album of all time... want to know the second best?" I said, "This one is the second best... the first would be Radiohead's Kid A." Anyway, to make a short story shorter, we traded. I lent him my copy of Kid A, and he lent me a copy of what he thought was the second best album of all time, The Dreaming. I saw the copyright date in the back, 1982, and thought, oh, it's probably gonna be some cheesy sounding early 80's music... to my surprise, this album did not sound "totally 80's" at all. It sounded like it had just been released this past Tuesday! I was in awe with it's muti layered sounds and "overproduction"... and the complexity and complete strangeness of it. FAR superior and WAY ahead of it's time... even for today's standards! I thought Kate's voice was brilliant. The music was brilliant. The effects were brilliant. This album is brilliant. So, now I'd have to say, I agree with my English professor. It is the second best album of all time... just behind Radiohead's Kid A.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best.....Thing.....Ever........, Aug. 23 2003
This review is from: Dreaming (Audio CD)
This is the best music in the world. By far. Obviously there is always the whole 'matter of opinion' thing. Hmmmph. Yes the Hounds Of Love is superb, many would say that is Kate's best work. Nah.
I would review every song but there is no point. I cant really find to describe. I'd much rather urge you to buy this album, listen to it again and again if you must. You will soon understand.
'The Dreaming'. Every song is perfect. I have never got bored of, I doubt I ever will. If I die and go to heaven I will demand a copy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Work of Staggering Genius, Aug. 14 2003
By 
Eric Swanger (Chicago, IL USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dreaming (Audio CD)
i am leaps and bounds away from being an obsessive kate bush fan. i will admit that her music does have sort of a nostalgic hold on me, especially the music from this album.
this is undoubtedly the best kate bush album out there. more people are fond of "hounds of love," but i think that has more to do with the fact that it was her breakaway hit album. "the dreaming" is far superior in its scope, songwriting, production, and concept than anything before or after it.
what i really admire about the album is that it is almost a theatrical piece, with a strange and vibrant cast of characters and stories. she uses her voice in so many different ways and displays an enormous range of musical tastes on this album. she sings about bank heists gone wrong, intruders, houdini drowning, the moment of death, and many other bizarre and intriguing topics...but with great passion and intensity.
"all the love" is one of my favorite songs that i can think of. it is a haunting and beautiful song about death, and the things that can haunt you at that moment. and "houdini" is probably the most theatrical piece of the album, in which she is singing from the perspective of rosabel, who was houdini's stage partner and lover, who would pass a key to him with a kiss. it is a brilliant song, with beautiful piano and string accents throughout.
her song construction is at its most accomplished on this album. there is a effortless mix of fairlight and keyboard elements, percussion, multi-layered vocals, bass and guitar. if you listen to the album with good headphones, it is quite a revelation. she is at her peak here, and although like i mentioned before, most people refer to "hounds of love" as her best, i think that album sounds more dated, even though the songwriting is really just as strong.
also check out "never for ever." it was the release before this album, and is almost as good.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best recording of the 80s, by anyone, period., Aug. 13 2003
By 
memo60640 (Chicago, IL United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Dreaming (Audio CD)
The Dreaming, or as my friends and I in the early 80s dubbed it "The Screaming", is Kate's most fully realized work. She herself has said it was emotionally wrenching to produce, and that emotional intensity comes through consistently on every track. In fact, I think this is the most emotionally intense music ever made with synthesizers. Constructed essentially with just her Fairlight (with some additional instruments added as textures), her voice sequenced in and out, she was able to construct a psycho-sonic landscape that conjured a state of mind and spirit in a state of high tumult with no promise of redemption.
On vinyl, the two sides of this masterpiece were reflections of one another, each track a mirrored response to its counterpart on the opposite side. The conscious search for knowledge on "Sat in your Lap" was answered by the unconscious revelations of "The Dreaming"; the heist gone wrong on "There Goes a Tenner" became a flight from the cops on "Night of the Swallow", and so on; culminating in the expressionist screams that close both sides: "Leave It Open", with its take-all-comers approach to experiencing what life throws at you, is contrasted with the get-the-hell-out-and-don't-ever-come-back she-mule of "Get Out Of My House". Kate new exactly what she was doing from beginning to end. In the making of this record - the first one of hers that she produced herself -- she demonstrated a remarkably confident command of art and technology, and this all coming from a 22-year-old.
The dynamics and textures used on The Dreaming were developed on it predecessor, Never for Ever, and mastered on its follow-up, Hounds of Love, but never were they as evocatively employed as on this album. The soaring circles of her voice, the pipes, and Fairlight treatment on Night of the Swallow are literally breathtaking. I could go on and on. This work changed the way I listed to popular music two decades ago. To listen to this music now, over 20 years after it was recorded, is to still be transported onto romantic flights and dreams. Search. Theft. Escape from bondage. In dreams begin responsibilities. It is best listened to after midnight.
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