Posted in music on June 1, 2011
by Andrew Sacher
Just in time to remind newbies Zola Jesus and Austra who came first, art pop innovator Kate Bush has returned. Director's Cut, her first album since 2005's Aerial, was released in North America on May 30 via Fish People, her own imprint in conjunction with EMI. It came out two weeks earlier in Europe and we're happy to report it is selling very well in Dublin (and in other places too).
Director's Cut consists of reworked material from 1989's The Sensual World and 1993's The Red Shoes. Many of the songs are built off the original recordings, keeping certain instrumentals and backing vocals, while others ("This Woman's Work," "Rubberband Girl," and "Moments of Pleasure") have been entirely re-recorded. She transposed certain tracks into lower keys to accommodate her matured voice. All of her lead vocal parts have been re-recorded, and the song "The Sensual World" (now titled "Flower of the Mountain") has entirely new lyrics. Bush told Pitchfork:
"The original idea for the song was to use part of the soliloquy at the end of the book [James Joyce's Ulysses], but I couldn't get permission. It was always a bit of a compromise to me when I had to go and write my own lyrics, which were OK but nowhere near as interesting as the original idea. So when I was putting the ideas together for this project, I though it was worth a shot to ask again-- they could only say no again. And, to my great surprise and delight, I was given permission. To actually be able to fulfill that original idea was fantastic."The album's single, "Deeper Understanding" (originally released on The Sensual World) is two minutes longer than the original and features a harmonica section not present on the 1989 version. The song is about the relationship between people and their computers. At the time of the song's initial release, Bush wasn't able to portray the computer's character how she wanted. The available vocoders of the time couldn't make the character digital enough. In the reworked version, the character is played by her son Albert, whose voice was run through a modern computerized voice manipulator. Watch the new video for "Deeper Understanding" and compare it to the 1989 version below.
Although Bush opted for that vocal effect, she chose to record the album on analog equipment this time, to give the songs a warmer sound than their original recordings. She enlisted drummer Steve Gadd, bassist Danny Thompson, and Mica Paris on backing vocals to complete the album.
Director's Cut is available as a digital album, CD, and Deluxe Box Set including a three disc package of the album along with The Sensual World and a remastered version of The Red Shoes. The box set also includes a case-bound book and two-disc vinyl. You can check out the album streaming now on NPR.
"People always presume I didn't enjoy that tour," she protested. "I did enjoy it."We are interested (please tour!). Album tracklist and "Deeper Understanding" video (which Kate directed herself) below...
"[But] I haven't got any plans to do any live shows whatsoever. I'm very much engrossed in trying to making new material.
"I'm extremely flattered that people are interested."
Kate Bush - "Deeper Understanding" Official Video (2011)
Kate Bush - "Deeper Understanding" (1989)
Director's Cut Tracklist:
1. Flower Of The Mountain (Originally Titled The Sensual World)
2. Song Of Solomon
4. Deeper Understanding
5. The Red Shoes
6. This Woman's Work
7. Moments Of Pleasure
8. Never Be Mine
9. Top Of The City
10. And So Is Love
11. Rubberband Girl