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on March 27, 2004
This is my 54th review, but the first one of a "pop" (defined here as a non-vocal jazz and non-classical) album. It's an album that every devotee of singing should have, regardless of individual preferences. It's a tremendous, emotional album. "Song of Solomon" is one of the most gut-wrenchingly emotional songs ever performed; I'd put it right up there with Abbey Lincoln's "When I'm Called Home". The rest of the album is nearly that good: "And So Is Love", "Lily", "Constellation of the Heart" and "Why Should I Love You" will stick with you, years after you hear it. Ms. Bush has the type of voice that can purr and then roar on a dime; she effectively communicates about every type of human emotion imaginable. Very highly recommended, regardless of what kind of music you like.
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on December 31, 2003
When I first purchased this CD in '93, it didn't immediately grab me the way "The Dreaming," "Hounds of Love" and "The Sensual World" had, and I actually eventually sold it. Now that I've discovered it again a decade later, I can't imagine what I was thinking. Perhaps "The Red Shoes" just takes a little maturity and experience on the part of its listener to be more fully appreciated. Whatever the reason, "Rubberband Girl," "And So Is Love," "Moments of Pleasure," "Song of Solomon," "Lily," "The Red Shoes" and "You're The One" are now, in my opinion, some of Kate's greatest recordings, both lyrically and musically. When she sings "On a balcony in New York, it's just started to snow" in "Moments of Pleasure," I can't even explain the depth of warmth, joy, sadness, hope and regret that simultaneously spill forth. How can that happen?! Astounding. (P.S. - it will add some pleasure if you watch the classic 1948 film "The Red Shoes" that inspired this set.) Cheers, Kate! I'm not ashamed to admit I was dead wrong the first time around.
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on March 22, 2004
One of the most missed artists of modern music reality is withought doubt Kate Bush . Although there are many ladies around who have the guts to fully open their souls and reveal their sensitivities to the fans ( Bjork , Tori Amos , Tanya Donelly , P.J Harvey ) Bush still stands out for being a person so dedicated and focused on human love , it makes me wanna cry everytime i realize it .
Considering the fact that " Hounds Of Love " was maybe the best british record of the 80's and " The Sensual World " a ( much much more than just a ) great album by a female singer-songwritter , her 1992 is undeniably not the earthshattering third masterpiece in a row . It had it's good moments and it had it's bad ones .
The epic sadness of " So It's Love " with it's haunting flutes and Clapton's guitar playing is so rich in feelings and deeply affecting while " The Constellation Of The Heart " has a greek tragedy touch in it with Bush discussing and arguing with the backing vocals about what she should do with the challenge of love . Furthermore , " Top Of The City " is powerfull and sweet and even the initially harmless latin folklore of " Eat The Music " features lines like " does he conceal / what he really feels ? / he is a woman at heart / and i love him for that / let's split him open ! " which make it highly addictive . On the other hand , " Song Of Solomon " ( in which Bush asks from her lover just his ' sexuallity ' ) is maybe too bold , maybe too vulnerable to make it , " Rubberband Girl " although catchy in a twisted way doesn't carry the emotion of Kate's past singles ( Cloudbusting , This Woman's Work ) while " Moments Of Pleasure " is somehow more easy to admire than to enjoy .
George Michael named his recent new album " Patience " because it took him eight years to deliver it . With that in mind , Bush should name hers " Lots And Lots And Lots Of Patience " though it's not the ( more than ten ) years that have passed since The Red Shoes' release that have made her fanbase so hungry for a new offering. It's the fact that this album was such an unexpected farewell which despite some uneven moments , it showed an artist on top form , interested in exploring new sounds and certaintly not a music career close to it's end .
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on June 21, 2003
This vibrant piece of art came out about 10 years ago, AND IT IS SOO VERY UNDERATED it brings tears to my eyes! People, don't get this album, they don't understand it's depth! AND, it's quite tragic!
ANYWAY...the album is rich, vibrant and multi-layered, although thankfully this time all the layers are quite prominent as it's digitally recorded. Kate's vocals are heartbreakingly beautiful, with a certain husk, which gives this album EVEN MORE integrity.
The music is beautiful, vibrant and soothing, and the lyrics are unsurprisingly poetic, witty and romantic.
This CD, was her biggest hit in the US, going to #28 and in the UK it reached #2!
One minor problem is the small use of Trio Bulgarka, they are sooo fantastic, they should have been used more! :( is a quick track by track review:
Rubberband Girl - Funky, quirky and very danceable
AND SO IS LOVE - Gorgeously poetic, painfully heartbreaking
Eat the music - Rich, "fruity", innuendo filled and really anthematic
Moments of Pleasure - Don't listen to this while depressed, it'll make you cry. VERY VERY beautiful, the first ballad!
The Song of Solomon - Calm, ethereal and magical
LILY - Poppy, spirital and religious
THE RED SHOES - Funky, dancey and a bit like a short story
Top of the city - Rock song, with a powerful chorus
Constellation of the heart - a bit of funk here...not a favourite, but still quite groovy
Big Stripey Lie - A favourite, dark, gothic and brooding...KATE ON GUITAR, yay
You're the one - another ballad, lyrics fail a bit...but still lovely!
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on December 23, 2003
Another four year break, and The Red Shoes, taken from the movie with Moira Shearer, proved to be Kate's final album. As in The Sensual World, the songs aren't too bizarre, but the lyrics and themes show Kate still in control. Some of the songs correspond to the concept movie she made, The Line, Curve, and the Cross, starring herself and Miranda Richardson.
Being a "Rubberband Girl" means being more flexible, like trees that bend in the wind. Drums and guitars forming the innovative rhythm of this upbeat number. And there's even a section with bizarre vocal stylings mimic the stretching and retracting of a rubberband.
"Life is sad and so is love" sings Kate on the melancholy "And So Is Love." The cycle of love is explored, from "Ah hell, we're young" to "it's all we got, isn't that enough" to "just for the sake of love/you set me free, I set you free." I've never heard a truer word said about it. Eric Clapton is the guitarist here, and Gary Brooker of Procol Harum does the Hammond organ. Second best song here.
The Caribbean-tinged "Eat The Music", sporting the stringed valiha, and the trombone and trumpets that come in later, was the first single and it uses the way one destroys someone emotionally via the way one devours fruit, in this case the music, or the love one offers: "Split'em open/with devotion/you oput your hands in/and rip their hearts out." Pretty thought-provoking.
The best song here and one of her best moments. "Moments Of Pleasure", with Kate on piano and backed by strings, makes me appreciate her. Reflections of the title are what eases the hurt of being alive. "These moments given/are a gift from time." The song ends with her calling to those who made an impact on her life.
And now, "the song of everyone who walks the path of the solitary heart." "The Song Of Solomon" is notable for her using the word "bu----it", rare for Kate, and for the return of Trio Bulgarka, who featured prominently in The Sensual World. In this case, she demands sex instead of love.
"Lily" taken from the film, is about Kate asking the wise woman Lily how to break the spell of the red shoes, and having four archangels, Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, and Raphael protecting her.
The title track should've come before "Lily", as it's about how Kate gets tricked by the strange woman into putting the possessed red shoes on after writing a "curve", "cross" and "line" on three pieces of paper, representing her smile, heart, and past. It's a danceable jig replete with mandola and whistles. The third best track here.
"Top Of The City" has a despairing Kate wanting to be taken to the top of an angel statue's shoulder, possibly to jump. Reason? "She's no good for you."
"Constellation Of The Heart" calls for turning the telescope inward, away from the stars and inside ourselves. A Star Trek like report is given, with her as captain, backing vocalists as crew. In one bit, she says in response to the crew telling her to face it: "What am I gonna do?...Is it gonna hurt me bad?" Yes it will, Kate.
Trio Bulgarka comes back in "Why Should I Love You" written by Prince, who does guitar, keyboards, bass, and backing vocals here. Finally the two meet, in this song that could fit on Parade. The trio also feature in the heartbreaker "You're The One", about someone ready to leave, bags packed, other living arrangements done, but the problem is "you're the only one I want." What to do? Jeff Beck is on guitar here.
The drum fills I thought were a bit distracting are reduced here, despite Stuart Elliott being kept on. As we've heard nothing new from her, this is sadly Kate's farewell album. At least it wasn't on a bad note, as her songwriting and voice showed no signs of waverings, and the guest musicians really gave her a lot of support. So, when ya coming back, Kate? I miss you.
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on August 16, 2009
Kate Bush's album 'The Red Shoes' is an eclectic mixture of musical styles and emotional states that offers a powerful yet accessible sonic experience (particularly to those previously unfamiliar with "this woman's work"). From the joyous and imaginative playfulness of "Rubberband Girl," "Eat the Music," and "The Red Shoes," to the sometimes painfully poignant emotion evoked in "And So is Love," "Moments of Pleasure," "The Song of Solomon," and "You're the One," to the intense fear, abandon, fascination, frustration, anger, and confusion expressed in "Lily," "Constellation of the Heart," "Big Stripey Lie," and "Why Should I Love You?" Bush provides each listener with a cornucopia of musical nourishment that proves unfailingly satisfying. So if you're looking for music that can make you dance/cry/eat/dream/scream/reminisce all at once, why not "stretch" yourself a bit and try on these red shoes?
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on November 22, 2005
This album seems to take quite the beating from Kate fans (and music critics aren't that kindly to it either)which is a total mystery to me as I feel Red Shoes is the pinnacle of Kate's career: it manages to combine commercially accesible songs with the trademark Kate Bush 'quirkiness'; something her latest CD Aerial fails to do.
Rubberband Girl, And So Is Love, You're The One, Top of the City and the title track are radio friendly tracks that still manage to stand apart from the norm.
Lionheart, Sensual World and Red Shoes are Kate's best and represent her musical changes over the years.
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on June 16, 2003
This is a wonderful CD! VERY NICE TO LISTEN TOO! Do not listen to the people who gave it one star. This is creative. Worth adding to your CD collection!
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on June 16, 2003
This is a wonderful CD! VERY NICE TO LISTEN TOO! Do not listen to the people who gave it one star. This is creative. Worth adding to your CD collection!
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on October 13, 2014
Excellent remaster of a recording worth rediscovering.
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