Kate Bush Discovers Autotune

New album, Director’s Cut revamps songs from two of Kate Bush’s Albums

Kate Bush joins the conga-line of musicians covering their own work, a new tradition that includes Peter Gabriel, Ray Davies and Suzanne Vega.  Bush is releasing an album called Director’s Cut which draws songs from her beautiful 1989 album, The Sensual World, and disappointing 1993 album, The Red Shoes.

The first release from the disc is “Deeper Understanding,” a poignant and pleading song about getting lost in the computer screen.  In 1989 it was a powerful, and subtle work, and despite its subject, was mostly devoid of gimics, computer voices and beeping noises except for one.  Well, they are all here on the 2011 version of  “Deeper Understanding .”   Bush completely revamps the song, creating electronic backings, lots of sound effects and autotuning her voice.  Sadly, not only is autotuning a “so yesterday” concept, even for that, it’s badly employed.  Kate takes a song of subtlety to create a dialog with a “computer” voice,  the kind of obvious ploy you wouldn’t expect from the singer.  And Cher did the autotuning thing better in 1998 with her hit single “Believe.” And although I do have Cher’s first solo album in my collection, you don’t know how much it pains me to say she does anything artistically better than Kate Bush.  Although the song goes into a pretty cool vamp in the second half, it still reminds me of Tangerine Dream’s Edgar Froese re-recording classic Dream tracks from the 70s, but using digital synthesizers.  Using modern instruments instead the original analog synths, he made his music sound dated. He just didn’t get what made that music so powerful back then, and so timeless now.

One good thing is there is a new version of “The Sensual World” that might be closer to Bush’s original intent.   She originally wrote the song with lyrics drawn from James Joyce’s Ulysses, but couldn’t get permission to use them on the actual recording. So instead, she cut her own, Joyce-inspired lyrics.  Now she’s gotten permission and a new version appears on Director’s Cut, retitled “Flower of The Mountain.”  Hopefully, the remainder of Director’s Cut won’t be music that should perhaps remain on the cutting room floor.

Director’s Cut Tracklist:
01. Flower of the Mountain
02. Song of Solomon
03. Deeper Understanding
04. Lily
05. Red Shoes
06. This Woman’s Work
07. Moments of Pleasure
08. Never be Mine
09. Top of the City
10. And so is Love
11. Rubberband Girl

John Diliberto ((( echoes )))

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