sat 15/06/2024

CD: Kate Bush - Director's Cut | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Kate Bush - Director's Cut

CD: Kate Bush - Director's Cut

The nation's favourite kook intrigues with a taster of her new voice

'Director's Cut': songs with a new heartbeat

Kate Bush’s musical legacy may speak for itself, but she’s more than just her songs. Her persona seems woven into the nation’s consciousness, and her time-lapse approach to making albums makes her every move an event. Her last record was in 2005, and before that 1993. Now she's made an album of covers of her own work. The question is, can it possibly live up to the expectations?

Director’s Cut is a reworking of tunes from the The Red Shoes and its predecessor, The Sensual World. You can see why she would want to revisit them. As albums they always seemed patchy, but equally within those 25 songs , there surely lurked one belter of an album. And happily, with the help of all new vocals and drums, a lot of remixing, and three complete re-recordings she seems to have more or less found it. But in keeping with her contrary nature, people don’t seem to be able to make up their minds about which tracks work best. Especially when it comes to the two best-known songs.

Personally I think she’s ruined “This Woman’s Work” by giving it the "Peter Gabriel covers'" treatment, but I absolutely love the way she’s merged “Rubberband Girl” with the riff from the Stones’s “Street Fighting Man”. And as for the rest, you only have to listen to them back to back with the originals to hear the improvements. Maybe she needn’t have made them so much longer, but the more acoustic arrangements really do give the songs a heartbeat. “Song of Solomon” and “Lily”, in particular, have new life breathed into them.

With a new album in the pipeline, it’s the voice, however, to be most excited by. It’s not a voice we’ve heard before, not even on Aerial. Lower and wiser, she not only sounds like she still wants to fill the world with her eccentric narratives, but now, if anything, has more to say. If this record is a taster, one imagines the Twitter speculation will be rife closer to the new one. As for Director’s Cut, it may be a glorified compilation, and mainly for existing fans; but fortunately for Bush, that’s half the country.

Watch the video for the original version of "This Woman's Work"


I'm disappointed with the new vocals, it sounds like she's singing with a lisp or her tongue is swollen.

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