Kate Bush - Director's Cut
First the good news: Director's Cut is the first new album from Kate Bush in six years. The bad news: the songs on the album are not new, but rather renovated versions of songs that originally appeared on 1989's The Sensual World and 1993's The Red Shoes.
Inspired to revisit these songs, Bush's main focus was her vocals. Almost all of the supporting arrangements were left untouched. Sadly, she's gone about this backwards. The vocals were perfectly fine on the original songs. It's the instrumentation that has made these songs sound so dated. Director's Cut does nothing to reinvigorate them.
Bush had been a trailblazer. Her vocals were distinctive and powerful. That's not what we get here. Instead of a bright leading light we get someone who seems content to follow, with vocals that often ape Tori Amos. Either the crowd has caught up to Bush or she has fallen back into the pack. Either way it's disappointing.
Part of the problem is the source material isn't the strongest in Bush's catalogue. Logically this makes sense. After all, why would Bush feel compelled to rework her best stuff? It's the weaker sisters that need the attention. Unfortunately, not enough work was done to salvage these pieces.
In the end, precious few of these cuts are improvements on the original versions (with "Rubberband Girl" verging on unlistenable). That makes one beg the question as to why this record was even borne into existence.
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