George Starostin's Reviews



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Alfred Zoppelt <> (05.01.2006)

The USA have Georg Bush. But England have the great Bush. England have Kate Bush. I love her and I admire her. I guess Marc Bolan would have loved her too. Her beauty. Her lyrics. Her music. Under Ice is a fantastic song. Houdine is a fantastic song. Pull out the pin is a fantastic song. And so on, babes. And so on. Kate rules. She is great.


Blake Jackson <> (08.06.2003)

Terrific debut. Doesn't really prepare for what was to come, but there's a handful of songs that are right up there with her best. 'Wuthering Heights' is an amazing song, with such a fantastic musical backing, and Kate's voice. And there's the title track, which might just be the best song she ever did - the song is so fragile, that even the slightest change to the song could ruin it's incredible power. The lyrics, based around the old tale of "Lizzie Wan", are simply amazing, and it's sung so beautifully by fact, everything about this song is beautiful. Strange, considering that the song basically deals with incest, or the consequences of incest. An amazing classic - the only real song that could probably beat it for me is "Breathing".

The other songs can't match up to that piece of utter brilliance, but generally, they're excellent. "Moving", "Them Heavy People", "The Man With The Child In His Eyes", "Oh to Be In Love" are all excellent. "James and the Cold Gun" is great here, although it's eclipsed by the amazing, amazing live version. "Feel It" and "Saxophone Song" get big thumbs up from me too. The rest are good, if a lil' unmemorable (By Kate standards)

Fantastic album overall.

Nikita Kokorin <> (13.06.2005)

On the first sight The Kick Inside is wonderful pop album with non-standard lyrics, but not enough melody-wise. It's deceptive statement. After several listens, I discovered I like the album more and more. Kate's voice flows up and down meaning solid melodies. These melodies only don't come after the first listen. It's because many songs have two or three ones!! Really impressive trick; nobody thought 17-19 years old girl could manage it. And instrumental background has too much moments of pure melodic beauty, at least fairly decent, at best+ I think middle instrumental part in Oh To Be In Love' or guitar solo in Wuthering Heights' brings pop songs on fantastic level. The Beatles themselves had simple, but ultra-beautiful instrumental breaks as one of their major pluses. So, melodically The Kick Inside is rich and strong, the strongest Kate Bush record. (Dreaming comes close being actually different). It's jazzy feeling" that prevents a listener to catch all beauty at once. Obviously, resonance factor and the way of commitment between feelings and music are perfect. I'm afraid to write about them. Rating will be 15 for resonance and atmosphere, 13 for melodies and originality. Round up and drop one point for lack of diversity. Summary, 13 seem to be quite accurate.

David Dickson <> (16.06.2005)

Haven't read Wuthering Heights yet, George? Good for you! One page of that overlong, over-descriptive, ultra-depressing literary nightmare is one page of your life wasted, no bones or buts about it.

Oh yeah, the album. Haven't listened to it yet, but I HAVE heard the title track, and goddamn does that song ever rule. Sounds like Tori Amos (cue long, drawn out DUUUUUUUUUUUUUUH), but not-as-good piano skills. And I'm freaking biased towards pianos, for the love of Pete. Once I actually listen to the album, erase this comment.

David Goodwin <> (24.06.2005)

Was going back through your Kate Bush page...something interesting someone told me a while back. Apparently, a few of the album's songs wayyy predate the rest of the sessions, by something like a year or so. The two in question are, IIRC, "Saxophone Song" and "Child in his Eyes," on which Kate clearly hasn't developed her "usual" singing voice.


Richard C. Dickison <> (18.02.2001)

I have to say this is not a great album.

But she ain't bad.

I like the literary edge and the intellectual twists she pulls to make her romantic and lush songs.

Her voice can get to you, and some of her musical directions, well, they suck.

But then I hear, "England, my Lionheart, Peter Pan steals the kids in Kensington Park...."

Well, she has a class about her I like.

So sue me, it can be a guilty pleasure.

But do not get me wrong, Her duet with Peter Gabriel on So was pure dreck.

Blake Jackson <> (08.06.2003)

Kate actually only had three weeks to do this album from scratch - there's only 3 all-new Kate songs here ('Symphony In Blue/Fullhouse/Coffee Homeground'). The others are all taken from her big backlog of songs she'd written pre-Kick. Kate herself generally disowns this album.

As it is, it's a very, very good album, although it doesn't really match up to any of the others in her catalogue. The three new songs here are all great, and "Wow" and "Hammer Horror" are both fantastic Kate songs. I always liked "In Search of Peter Pan" and "Oh England My Lionheart" too - both are really good, childlike fantasies.

As for the rest..."...Heartbrake" is a good one, and "Kashka From Baghdad" is an intriguing number. "In the Warm Room" is ok, but it doesn't really match up to "Feel It" from the last album. The only real problem with Lionheart is that it's the only album which doesn't feature an incredible, top-drawer Kate track. Kick Inside has it's title track, Never Forever has "Breathing", Dreaming has them in abundance...and this one has "Wow" which comes close, but isn't really up to those unreal tracks.

Still, a pretty good one - despite what Kate may tell you.


Blake Jackson <> (08.06.2003)

This one, for me, is the first of four complete classic albums that Kate made - starting with this album, she was finally given freedom in the studio, and throughout the '80s, Kate couldn't put a foot wrong - classic song after classic song after classic song. Every song here, for me, is great...the only one that's just a slight down from the others is "Blow Away", although it works well for what it is - a homage to Bill Duffield, a lighting engineer who died in a tragic accident on her only tour.

Bar that, every song really has it's classic moments - from "Babooshka" to "Wedding List", "Egypt", "Infant Kiss", "Army Dreamers"...but there is a huge standout track here, and it's right there at the end. I find it hard to put "Breathing" into words...but it's basically unreal. It's really frightening, from the opening verses to the finale - the finale is especially terrifying, as Kate just screams out those final me, this song's the most powerful song ever written. It pulverises me at the end, and I still wonder just how on earth she managed to pull this song off.

One small note about "The Infant Kiss" - it's actually based on a film called "The Innocents". The boy in the story has the energy and mind of a man, and the woman in the story is attracted, but mortified by this - it's not just about plain-ol' paedophilia, because that's what the woman is afraid and disgusted of - she doesn't want it to happen.

Anyway, it's a brilliant, brilliant album.


Maher Mughrabi <> (11.04.2002)

Read your review of The Dreaming. Glad you liked it. I prefer Lionheart myself, but hey.

A couple of the songs - you said 'The Dreaming' makes no lyrical sense whatsoever. Not so. It's about the fate of the Aboriginal people in Australia, who call their ancestral era the Dreamtime. The town of Woomera, in South Australia, is mentioned. For more on the history of Woomera:

Nowadays Woomera is also the site of a detention camp for refugees, mostly of Middle Eastern origin. It is the Australian government's policy to exercise mandatory detention of these people in what amounts to a concentration camp in the South Australian desert. After a week of sustained protests last week, the government has now said it will scale down the camp - while denying the protests played any role in their decision :-)

Of course the song deals only with the way in which Aboriginal land was colonised and then put to Western uses - military and industrial - as was the case at Maralinga and across the country. 'Erase the race that claim the place and say we dig for ore'. A familiar tale across the world.

(When I was in Australia, I met a Tasmanian bloke called Kashka Hardy. His father named him after the Kate Bush song 'Kashka From Baghdad' - as far as I know, the name isn't a Middle Eastern one)

As for 'Night of the Swallow', it's sung from the perspective of a woman whose partner is with the IRA. The references to Malta and the police make that much perfectly clear. The IRA used to rely on Libya for their supply of Semtex, a Czech-made explosive. The cultural and historical connection between Libya and Malta goes back over 500 years. 'Absolutely nothing to do with Celtic thematics'? I think not.

Add 'Pull Out The Pin', and in reality it's a very political album.

Richard C Dickison <> (11.04.2002)

Oh by the way. I declare this, the peak recording of all things that make Kate Bush so special. "The Dreaming" is from what I can tell, about Australia and the treatment of native people and animals. "Suspended In Gaffa" seems to be about stagnation and relationships. Not a uninteresting moment on this whole album, you could really get into just figuring out what it is she is singing about. "Get Out Of My House" is Kate rocking hard, this album has to be heard just for that one song. Peter Gabriel seems to be a presence at this time of Kate's career and if we need to thank anyone for her evolving to this stage I would send a note to him first. Drum machines sound familiar?, check out Peter's third album, yep that's them!

Al <> (22.08.2005)

Thanks for a very interesting reviews of my favourite artist. On the Dreaming you say:

"And to top it all, the song ends with a short - and relatively normal - piece of Celtic music, driven by the acoustic guitar, the fiddle, and... did I hear bagpipes?"

Firstly, the strange singing style on 'The Dreaming' derives from a heavy Australian accent, probably coached by Rolf Harris, who plays the digeridoo on the track. Secondly, the seque into 'Night of the Swallow' is indeed an irish ensemble, this is the phase where Kate started collaborating with those fabulous irish musicians that include the Uillean Pipe (what you call the bagpipte, it is similar but more sophisticated - see the video of Rocketman for a good look at how it is played).

This collaboration lasted all the way to Rocketman, which makes that single outstanding. The "irish" period probably comes to peak in the Ninth Wave. After that Kate seems to have moved on to the Trio Bulgarka, which defined her second stage of collaboration which bore such wonderful tracks as 'Rocket's Tail' and made The Red Shoes so much more special than it would have otherwise been.


Eric Benac <> (13.05.2003)

at first, i didn't like this as much as the dreaming (i got them the same day) it seemed too "smooth": i dug the completely disjointedness of the dreaming. and "the ninth wave" didn't seem liek that big of a deal to me. but i heard it the other day when i was on my way to the dentists (on my cd of course: no way i'd hear that on the radio, unfortunately) and it hit me: the album is great. i agree though, after the dreaming kate didn't really have any more "HOLY SHIT WHERE THE FUCK DID THAT COME FROM?" type evolution, but the sensual world is a great album (very Gabriel influenced, world music, folk etc.) and i haven't heard the red shoes, but i ordered it not too long ago. for my money, she's one of the best "atmospheric" musicians you can find. to me, she's like the female peter gabriel . and coming from me that's a HUUUUUUUUUUGE compliment. hell, i've seen you draw some parallels between the two and i know you love gabriel too.

Carson Duper <> (21.05.2003)

The Ninth Wave is quite a conceptual trip. I haven't entirely figured it out, but it begins when Kate falls asleep and dreams of skating on thin ice, which of course breaks under her feet. A dark force clutches at her from below, pulling her down, and as she drowns in the icy water, we hear myriad voices from her past urging her to reawaken - even a rescue team's helicopter high overhead losing track of her, giving up as her body disappears! Then her spirit is released, taking flight and soaring over the countryside, looking for "home." She sees a warm little cottage in the woods where her husband waits for her return, "Watching You Without Me." But she passes right by him, drawn further toward her soul's fate - which is apparently in some mythic past. There, she meets an ancient witch who lives in the blood of her ancestry and tries to reassert herself in Kate's being - "Come on, let me live, girl! I'll never ever let you go!" They do a frenzied dance of death together - the "Jig of Life," ironically - which culminates in the re-ordering of all her life's "moments." Suddenly she wakes up, coming back to her senses as she's walking across a parking lot, of all places, at night. She sees a shooting star, which is in fact a satellite accompanied by an angelic choir: "Hello Earth!" And then we all awaken - to love, I guess, and to an ambiguous new day in "The Morning Fog." I don't understand it all, but my god, this is a magnificent suite! Certainly one of the highest artistic statements of the 80's, and a good companion to Mister Heartbreak, Remain in Light, So, The Unforgettable Fire, and Robbie Robertson. Hey, many of the same people played on all these albums!

Blake Jackson <> (01.06.2003)

This album is probably my favourite album of all time. I absolutely love this album - from the opening "Running Up That Hill" to the amazing Ninth you said, 'The Morning Fog' is a perfect ending. What an amazing work - when I first heard this album, it just completely blew me away. I liked Kate Bush before, but I loved her after hearing this record. Simply unbelievable.

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