Most helpful positive review
one of the best pop (?) albums ever.
on February 24, 2004
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!