650. Kate Bush - Sensual World (1989)
1. Sensual World
2. Love and Anger
4. Reaching Out
5. Heads We're Dancing
6. Deeper Understanding
7. Between a Man and a Woman
8. Never Be Mine
9. Rocket's Tail
10. This Woman's Work
Maybe it's me that's weird, but I frankly liked the Dreaming incomparibly more than this album, and I think there are some pretty great Kate Bush albums simply missing from the list.
That being said, this is definitely a not very demanding Kate Bush album, an easy entry point for those more squeamish, more poppy and less weird. The review in the book calls it more mature... if that is to mean boring then I suppose they have a point.
Don't get me wrong, this is still a great album, Kate can do little wrong, but I wish there was more of her beautiful madness in this, she compensates for it in some of the lyrics, which are both prescient and weird and there are always elements in the music that put any of her albums head and shoulders above most pop music.
1. Deeper Understanding
2. This Woman's Work
3. Rocket's Tail
4. The Sensual World
The increasingly personal tone of her writing continued on The Sensual World, with songs about unexpressed and unrequited love ("Love and Anger" and "Never Be Mine", respectively), the pressures on modern relationships ("Between A Man And A Woman"), and self-doubt ("The Fog"). "Deeper Understanding" showed a remarkable prescience in its portrait of a lonely person who finds solace in the company of a computer (made prophetic by the internet addiction that would surface at the end of the decade). "Rocket's Tail" (dedicated to her pet cat, Rocket) invoked the joys of indulging in another's fantasy. The quirkiest track on the album, touched by Bush's trademark black humour, was "Heads We're Dancing", about a woman who dances all night with a charming stranger only to find out that he is Adolf Hitler.
The title track drew its inspiration from Ulysses by James Joyce. Bush realised that the closing passage of the novel - a monologue by Molly Bloom - fitted the music she had created. When the Joyce estate refused to release the text, Bush wrote original lyrics that echo the original passage, as Molly steps from the pages of the book and revels in the real world. She also alluded to Jerusalem by William Blake in a reference to the song's gestation ("And my arrows of desire rewrite the speech"). The song includes Irish instrumentation (Uilleann pipes, fiddle, whistle) under a breathy rendering of the orgasmic 'Yes' of the original text.
The songs "Deeper Understanding", "Never Be Mine" and "Rocket's Tail" all feature backing vocals by the Bulgarian vocal ensemble the Trio Bulgarka. The Sensual World went on to become her biggest-selling album in the U.S., receiving a Gold award four years after its release for 500,000 copies sold. In the United Kingdom album charts it reached the number two position.
Kate Bush predicts World of Warcraft in 1989 with Deeper Understanding: