5.0 out of 5 stars Give me the banshees for BVs!
It took me forever to find this CD in stores (it's surprisingly difficult to find Kate Bush CDs in Canada) and I was not disappointed when I sat down and listened to it. It flows very well, and may even be my favourite Kate Bush album to date (followed by The Kick Inside, and yeah, The Red Shoes --don't judge me, it's Kate at her most vulnerable, I think it's good)...
Published on Mar 12 2007 by Shawna B
3.0 out of 5 stars An Early Foreshadow Of Genius: 3 1/2 Stars
An early indication of the genius that Kate Bush would become. The Lyrics speak with wit, ecocation, and provocation: repressed paedophilia and death from radioactive fallout are examples of the weird and varied sources Kate can seamlessly draw from. The music itself is sometimes a drawback: although it is obviously more layered and textured the experimental whims are...
Published on Dec 24 2003 by baylo
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5.0 out of 5 stars Give me the banshees for BVs!,
This review is from: Never Forever (Audio CD)It took me forever to find this CD in stores (it's surprisingly difficult to find Kate Bush CDs in Canada) and I was not disappointed when I sat down and listened to it. It flows very well, and may even be my favourite Kate Bush album to date (followed by The Kick Inside, and yeah, The Red Shoes --don't judge me, it's Kate at her most vulnerable, I think it's good).
1. "Babooshka" -- So very catchy! A great start to the album and I find myself humming this song a lot without even realizing it. Also has some good lyrics to boot.
2. "Delius (Song of Summer)" -- My least favourite song on the album, it's a bit dull. To this day I still don't even know what it's about.
3. "Blow Away (For Bill)" -- I really like this song, favourite part is definitely "Don't bump me, don't dump me back there. Please don't thump me, Don't bump me, I want to stay here." She has a wonderful voice!
4. "All We Ever Look For" -- This song reminded me of an N64 Mario game soundtrack at the very beginning and it took me a while to warm up to, but now it's probably one of my favourites. Interesting instrumentals, good lyrics!
5. "Egypt" -- Not my favourite, but still very interesting. I have to say that I'm biased against this song because I saw the video of it on the Christmas 1979 special and I was almost in tears from laughing at the weird costume. I love you Kate Bush.
6. "The Wedding List" -- I LOVE THIS SONG! My second favourite song on this album: awesome lyrics, story, vocals, guitar, bass, everything!
7. "Violin" -- Favourite song on the album by far. It gets me so pumped up and full of energy because it's so whacko! The shrieking is priceless, and listening to this song always cheers me up.
8. "The Infant Kiss" -- Really good vocals, really creepy lyrics. How she got away with writing this I have no idea, but I like the song nonetheless. (Creepy Kate is the best)
9. "Night Scented Stock" -- Interesting, I usually skip over it though. I like actually hearing Kate sing/listen to her lyrics.
10. "Army Dreamers" -- Ridiculously catchy, and also making an intelligent point on the inflated ego of society...love it.
11. "Breathing" -- AMAZING!! So terrifyingly haunting, "after the blast, chips of plutonium are twinkling in every lung," I absolutely adore this song! The last bit with the duet is the best.
This is a masterpiece of an album that I'd reccommend for anyone's CD collection, this CD was made 9 years before I was born and I still find it thrilling to listen to. Kate is brilliant!!
4.0 out of 5 stars hits the spot!,
This review is from: Never Forever (Audio CD)one of my fave kate albums, there's echoes of the mad geniuus within her work, which doesn't always seem to work advantageously. my fave songs are "babooshka" as i think this is such an imaginative & creative song, another fave is "egypt" but all the tracks pretty much flow together collectively so is hard to differentiate individually, also "the wedding list" is excellent, tho at times her shrieking vocals can be a little offputting, & finally:
"army dreamers" and "breathing" are two of the most amazing & beautiful songs ever, along with "experiment IV" almost protest songs that hit the spot, some of kate's best songs.
3.0 out of 5 stars An Early Foreshadow Of Genius: 3 1/2 Stars,
This review is from: Never Forever (Audio CD)An early indication of the genius that Kate Bush would become. The Lyrics speak with wit, ecocation, and provocation: repressed paedophilia and death from radioactive fallout are examples of the weird and varied sources Kate can seamlessly draw from. The music itself is sometimes a drawback: although it is obviously more layered and textured the experimental whims are sometimes caught in the stylistic trappings that defined her earliest work. This means that some tracks don't work as well as they should and others are just lightweight and boring. Still, there are mammoth songs here that provide far more than just cold comfort consolation.
Best Tracks: Beathing, Babooshka, The Infant Kiss.
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderfully weird and melodic sounds from Kate's 3rd album,
This review is from: Never Forever (Audio CD)Never For Ever followed the sweet and mellow Lionheart. This time around, Kate Bush's entry into weird sounds and vocals is in the making. And this album came out in 1980. Pretty progressive and avant-garde-ish. This tops Lionheart and The Kick Inside in its sheer innovation of strange sounds, vocals that reach a manic frenzy, and some sobering songs on social issues.
"Babooshka" tells the story of a woman who tests her husband's fidelity by writing him anonymous letters, disguising herself as a younger her, and seeing if he'll go through with an adulterous affair with his own wife. The piano is struck forcefully during the verses, before the electric guitar riffs kick in the prechorus and chorus. And what's with the glass-shattering special effect towards the end?
"Blow Away�Eis a showcase for Kate's voice, which has her singing about a man too obsessed with music. She wonders where the music he plays goes. "Surely not with his soul?"she surmises.
The slow but brisk piano number, "All We Ever Look For," sporting an accompanying whistle, is another highlight here. Weird stuff: in the second verse, there's a cookie monster sounding growl that comes in every fourth beat. Another open door is what "all we ever look for," where one might find "the truth," "a little hug," "our own tomb," and other things. There are some sound effects that come in when someone walks down the hall and opens doors in search of that something.
"Egypt" is of someone falling in love with the ambience of Egypt, be it the shifting sands, the pyramids, and the Nile. The rhythmic melody is like a ship that keeps time with the beater, and towards the end, a weird cacophony of multiple voices comes in.
"The Wedding List�Eis a bit of a shocker, as it tells of a pair of newlyweds, where a "mystery man"shoots the groom in a passion crime. Kate's lyrics are a bit on the bloody and violent side, speaking of swooning in warm maroon, and "I'm gonna fill your head with lead." In the final lines, we find out why the groom was killed.
The frenzied guitar rocker "Violin" is the closest to punk rock Kate will ever come to. Her voice swoops up to a lunatic pitch when she sings "Filling me up WITH shivers." And her voice soars to a weird pitch and manic madness. Even today, I can still think of people going, "What is this? It's so weird!"
"The Infant Kiss" is a bit of a controversy, as it details a Lolita-like obsession, only the genders are switched and the younger party is a little boy, the older party being an adult woman.
The soft melodic guitar "Army Dreamers" featuring a group of male backing singers in the chorus, including an accompanying male voice. The repeated refrain "B.F.P.O."is a reference to the British Forces Post Office. This tells the lack of opportunity and assets of a now-dead and mourned for army recruit. "What could he do-should've been a rock star/but he didn't have the money for a guitar/what could he do-should've been a politician/but he never had a proper education/what should he do-should've been a father/but he never made it till his twenties/what a waste of army dreamers."
The brooding and haunting piano number "Breathing", a chilling anti-nuclear single, is sung from the POV of a baby still in the womb, affected by the radiation her mother is inhaling following an atomic bomb explosion. The baby knows it's dangerous to take in the fallout, but her instincts tell her to keep "breathing my mother in/breathing my beloved in/breathing her nicotine/breathing the fallout in out in out in..." After a casual and authoritative report of a nuclear test, the music rises to a crescendo, climaxing with a heavy guitar and poignant refrain: "What are we going to do?/We are all going to die." One of Kate's best ever songs. Overall, a sign of better things to come.
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dreaming prequel,
This review is from: Never Forever (Audio CD)The first Kate Bush album I bought was The Dreaming. I fell in love. And I fell in love with this woman who created this brilliant album, The Dreaming! I then bought Hounds of Love. To my disappointment, Hounds of Love didn't have that oomph of The Dreaming. I head heard that the next best album of Kate's, if not the best, was Hounds of Love. I thought, maybe, like Liz Phair's Exile in Guyville, The Dreaming was the one and only brilliant album from her. Then I decided, I should try to explore more of her albums... I got The Kick Inside and absolutely loved it, it's definitely a fascinating debut. But it lacked that lower range in Kate's voice that I learned to love. It also lacked some complexity as well. THEN, I thought I'd give Never for Ever a chance. To my surprise, I fell in love! This album is perfect! Every song has something very special and different to it. Songs that make you giggle, yet awe in their total beauty. I do prefer The Dreaming, but this album has something that The Dreaming lacked... intense emotion in Kate's voice. Considering my favorite album of all time is Radiohead's Kid A, I really enjoy my music to be very "overproduced", if you will, and have lots of time and effort put into the music. This album has some very brilliant sounds and textures to it that pull you in and never make you want to escape. To sum up what this album sounds like to someone who hasn't heard it, or Kate Bush even: Very beautiful crazy wide-eyed mad woman screaming with a good melody while doing the shimmy in a very theatrical manner... good visual... now think of what that would sound like.
PS. I've heard more of Hounds of Love and do think it's a very good album, indeed. It's just over rated in my opinion.
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect.....Forever and Always,
This review is from: Never Forever (Audio CD)Kate Bush got me through high school. She is my favorite artist, and this is my favorite album by her. For four years (all of my high school years) I was a dj at a college radio station. A friend of mine there let me borrow an obscure little 80's collection, that happened to have "Running Up That Hill" on it, needless to say I fell in love with Kate, and I've been a fan ever since.
I love the feel of her music, it's the type of music you can take to your attic, and listen to, just letting the sun shine in. Her work is deeply satisfying, everything comes together wonderfully, both musically and lyrically. Her ability to be such a dynamic writer, and melody composer is.....well what more could you ask for in an artist.
If you took any Kate Bush fan and stranded them on an island, and they had their pick of any of her albums, 85% of them would choose "Hounds Of Love", and it would be an understandable choice. "Hounds Of Love" is a damn good record, and a watershed moment in Kate's career. I however, would choose "Never Forever" simply because of it's lush beauty, and dynamic subject matter. While she achieves both of those qualities on previous, and succeeding albums, none of them did so quite as well as this one.
The album opens with the driving "Bamboshka", about a women who cleverly tests her husband's fidelity by writing him love letters as a younger woman. It kind of moves like the "Sat In Your Lap" of this album, the music however, is completely different. I simply love the music to "Blow Away (for bill)", and One of the band told me last night/that music is all that he's got in his life is one of my absolute favorite lines in any song I've heard. "All We Ever Look For" is just a brilliant arrangement (I loved the high end bass plucking) "Egypt" I didn't like too much when I first heard it, but it grew on me, especially when I later heard another one of my favorite albums "Solitude Standing" by Suzanne Vega. That album lyrically came from another place, but musically was very similar, and melodies similar to "Blow Away", and "Egypt" can be found there.
"The Wedding List" combines a wedding list with a murder list, inviting, and then killing all of them together in the same room. The song moves with a kind of R&B like pace (like that classic late 70's sound) breaking with sweeping strings and then fading right back into the fast moving beat, you could almost dance to it....almost. "The Infant Kiss" finds a woman finding herself having sexual attractions to an infant. Kate has displayed a strange articulation for subject matters like this "The Kick Inside" on her first album, was about a woman falling in love with her younger brother. The song is one of Kate's most beautiful piano numbers, and it leaves you.....fascinated.
"Army Dreamers" and "Breathing" are especially poignant. In "Army Dreamers" she writes about human potential, and how war interrupts that. It focuses on the true toll of war, and tradigy of it. "Breathing" deals with the slow process of dying after surviving nuclear war. It's a breathtaking slowburner, lush, eerie, and beautiful...it's the album's true centerpiece. The only song I don't like on the album is "Violin" it has a very abrasive violin arrangement, and the rest of the album is anything but abrasive. But that fact alone does not keep this from being a perfect album.
For quite some time in my own musical development, Kate was the standard everything came down from. This is probably the reason some of my favorite artists found her as a major influence (ie Tori Amos, Bjork, Goldfrapp ect.) We haven't had anything new from her in 10 years, and a lot of people (myself included) are wondering will she ever return. I for one hopes she returns like her friend Peter Gabriel did last year, and knock everybody's socks off. That certainly would come as no surprise.
5.0 out of 5 stars My Least Favorite, her Bestseller in England,
This review is from: Never Forever (Audio CD)I want to call this a transitional album by Bush, the bridge between the comparatively "simple" song style of her first two albums and a hint of the intense musical elaboration of her next album, "The Dreaming". But Bush was a perfectionist who would wait years to put out a new album, so it cannot be accurate at all to construe this as some kind of work-in-progress. The overall tenor of the album certainly contrasts with her first two albums, specifically for its explorations into more refined sonic backbones for many of the songs.
"Babooshka", an O. Henry type of marital infidelity narrative, begins the album with a very nicely affecting mild rock ballad full of various sound effects, vocal flourishes and Del Palmer's perennially exquisite bass.
"Delius", by comparison, is a rather bland little song about summer graced nevertheless by a lovely chorus. Pretty as it is, though, it's always seemed too slight to me, or a bit underdeveloped perhaps. Simply not up to the level I expect from Kate Bush.
"Blow Away", aside from seeming a bit overly personal (i.e., dedicated specifically "For Bill"), again seems a bit too slight, or not fully developed. Maybe boring is just the word I'm looking for, though it hardly seems fair.
"All We Ever Look For" is actually nearly as slight as its two predecessors, but is much more full of charm. More varied orchestration, harpsichord, a very wryly coy chorus with squeaky background vocals, and a montage of footsteps, opening doors and various noises toward the end show signs of more thought, more development and more intelligence than the previous two songs.
"Egypt", by contrast, is a fully and exquisitely developed song from Bush. Notably and almost entirely non-Egyptian in sound, the chorus, moody-eerie bells, enchanting piano accompaniment and gorgeous development of the song overall almost single-handedly makes me pull out this disk to listen to the whole thing again. The break toward the end, with that rarest of things in a Bush song (a solo), is positively magical in its mood.
Being too much of a good thing to follow, "The Wedding List", with its "James and the Cold Gun" orchestration and sensibility simply does not measure up. The song is a bit of a showcase for a newer, harsher vocals by Bush (compared to her first two albums), but where the bridge of the song finds her mark with her gun, Bush's attempt goes just a bit wide. Of course, by normal "pop" reckoning, this song is magnificent, and the quiet vocals leading into the chorus are very fine.
"Violins" is an even more rocking relative of "The Wedding List" that is both more and less successful than its predecessor. Musically, the orchestration is tougher and manages to be so conventional to actually have what might be Bush's first traditional guitar solo. It's the vocals that are hit and miss throughout. Bush actually very successfully gets her howls down, switching deftly over to her usual warbling, but the glissandos .... well, I'm sure they seemed like good ideas at the time. In any case, this song most clearly hints at the vocal direction Bush will perfect on her next album.
"The Infant Kiss" is a gorgeous piano ballad reminiscent of "Under the Ivy". Elsewhere, she has recorded this song in French. A kind of throwback to her first album, though the then-dreamy romanticism has been replaced by near-pedophilia, the song is another genuinely beautiful masterpiece that no Bush fan should go without.
"Night-Scented Stock", at 51 seconds, is like one of Chopin's preludes, comprised entirely of vocal harmonies aimed at pure atmospherics.
"Army Dreamers" is again a very slight song, but it's spareness contributes to the quietly brutal mocking of war that the lyrics reflect. There are also a number of subtle flourishes throughout the song that save it from its somewhat martial repetitiveness. It's a nicely crafted little song, I just don't happen to like it much.
"Breathing", the closing track, is the single unmitigated masterpiece on the album. To my ear, it actually belongs more on "The Dreaming" and so is a hint of things to come. A beautiful combination of piano and bass as only Kate Bush seems capable of putting together, washes of keyboard, an exquisite melody, and even the rather dubiously effective lecture on the nature of an atomic explosion all conspire to create an extraordinarily affecting song. It definitely ends the album on a high note.
4.0 out of 5 stars Transitional album for music's Sophia.,
By A Customer
This review is from: Never Forever (Audio CD)"Never For Ever" was Kate Bush's third album, after "The Kick Inside" and "Lionheart", both of which were afflicted by wafer-thin late 70s production which destroyed her already apparent mystical depth. On "Never For Ever", Kate moved away from Andrew Powell, who produced her first two albums, and co-produced with Jon Kelly.
The results of this effort were somewhat varied but worthwhile. The opener, "Babooshka", gave her a huge hit in Australia with a simple pop tune, and "The Wedding List" and the hot rocker "Violin" were similar in tone: simple rockers driven largely by guitars, bass and drums - though even here occassional odd flourishes added interest to the songs, such as the barely audible harmonica on "The Wedding List". All these songs certainly benefit from a rather thicker (though still not ideal) production, but the late 70s atmosphere was not suited to Bush's deeply feminine character. "Breathing", however, was somewhat overdone with guitar lines and Roy Harper's backing vocals that removed much of the song's beautiful melody.
The rest of "Never For Ever", though, was much less accessible, with "Delius (Song Of Summer)" moving away from the pure pop of "Babooshka" to a Cocteau Twins-like dreamscape. "Egypt" possessed an outro that showed the direction Kate was headed in on her following albums, whilst "All We Ever Look For" was slow and challenging, but ultimately beautiful with Kate singing one of her most melodic vocals. "Blow Away (For Bill)" was a oddly mature tale about the casualties of the music business, whilst "The Infant Kiss" solidified her early piano-based style into a lovely string-driven ballad, and "Army Dreamers" was a simple but effective tale of a soldier's death. The album was filled out with the a capella "Night Scented Stock", a short but coldly beautiful piece that showed Kate in a light most would never hear.
Though hugely successful in Britain and Australia, "Never For Ever" gained no exposure in America and never dented the Top 200. It does stand as a more developed performance by a woman who was to produce the most well-though and brilliant tales of spiritual wisdom in rock history later in the decade.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful!,
This review is from: Never Forever (Audio CD)Kate Bush third LP never Forever seems a bit overlooked in a way. Kick Inside is known as the singers debut LP. Lionheart which is often reffered as one of her weakest work seems though always on the shelfs when you look for a kate bush cd in a record store, the dreaming which has often had mixed reviews but some say her masterpiece. Hounds Of Love which is her of course her best known LP. but this album is often overlooked and i don't know why cause it his beautiful. The fist note on Babooskha and you are some place far far away. This LP has beautiful sound to it and is easy going. it is my 2nd favourite Kate Bush Album (hounds of love my favourite) and deserves notice everywhere. Kate Bush is a genius and this LP is brilliant. She was only 22 ( take that Britney 's and christina's)
4.0 out of 5 stars 'The Dreaming's' Younger, Lesser Sister,
This review is from: Never Forever (Audio CD)Mmmm how to describe 'Never Forever.' Neally as difficult as trying to describe any Kate Bush album. I think the best word is 'whimsical' but that's only half the story.
Lyrically this album is almost perfect, touching on a range of topics that can only be a result of a vivid and very left of centre imagination. 'Babooshka' is about a wife who tests her husband's faith by writing him letters pretending to be a seductive young woman. 'All We Ever Look For' revolves around the standards we impose upon ourselves and others. 'The Wedding List' evokes a scenario in which a bride clevery combines a wedding list with a murder list. 'Infant Kiss' is VERY twisted: a woman tries to suppress sexual feelings towards a small infant, 'Army Dreamers' laments the wasted human life in war, and 'Breathing' is about trying to live through but slowly dying from nuclear fallout. Not very typical stuff really is it.
Musically, although mostly I really enjoy this album, it seems to pale compared to 'The Dreaming' which I believe takes ideas from this albums and takes them to greater levels. And while 'The dreaming' is layered and dense, some of the songs on here seem to float and fluff around. I've never been a big fan of the way Kate does ballads, and 'Blow Away' 'All We Ever Look For' and 'The Infant Kiss' all have that classic broadway musical quality, kinda airy without having a big emotional drive to them. I much prefer the raunchier driving numbers like 'Babooshka' 'Violin' and 'The Wedding List' (this REALLY should have been a single.) And I find 'Delius'and 'Egypt' odd but fascinating. With my obsession with 'The Dreaming Album' the last two tracks really seem to form the blueprints for that album. 'Army Dreaming' combines a quirky medievil jingle with sampled army noises, but although I really like the song it seems a bit lacking of structure in the melody department, a minor problem for a bit of the album actually. The last song however, 'Breathing' wow...no words for it. Haunting, innovative, dramatic and grandoise, close to the best she's ever done I believe. If the rest of the album is sometimes up and down, than this song alone deserves 2 billion out of 5 stars.
So in conclusion, very original and interesting material, just that sometimes it pales when compared to 'The Dreaming' which I feel matches this album in intent but pushes the musical ambitions to further brilliant horizons. Reccomended
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Never Forever by Kate Bush (Audio CD - 1990)