"Sea of Honey" is very good, but "Sky of Honey" is amazing
Parrish A. Highley | Somewhere I've Never Travelled | 05/01/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Prior to Bush's most recent release I have always been partial to Hounds of Love, especially the last half of that work of art! I've always enjoyed almost everything she has released, particularly everything from The Dreaming on, but I never thought she would top herself after Hounds of Love...until I heard this! If you only download your music or listen to an online subscription service, you are going to miss out on the entire second half of this album. What you will get is very good, but you'll be missing the very best that Kate Bush has to offer.
In sonic terms the mastering of the first disc caters to iPods, typical computer speakers, and small portables. On the other hand, the second disc is mastered to audiophile specifications and will sound stunning on home systems capable of reproducing the full spectrum of audible frequencies. That's not to say that certain songs like Mrs. Bartolozzi, Pi, and Joanni on the first disc don't sound good on home systems because they do, but the dynamic range of the album's lead single King Of The Mountain was a little too compressed for my liking. Even the follow single How To Be Invisible somehow managed to avoid this pitfall in the process of the final mastering.
But such are the few complaints I have about Aerial because every other imaginable element of it simply defies most criticism. This is even more true of the second disc called "Sky of Honey" wherein the loveliest birdsong abounds throughout a suite of the caliber composed by classical artists unfolds and develops with a care and patience of which is unheard in the world of popular music. Imagine the last half of "Hounds of Love" if it were seamlessly assembled; that's what "Sky of Honey" is! And for those who have good home systems on which to listen to this, prepare to go somewhere you've never thought music could take you!
So if you were planning to just download "Sea of Honey" by itself, I would implore you to reconsider. For the same amount of money, sans the postage, you could have the entire enchillada along with its lovely packaging. There still are plenty of places an mp3 simply cannot take you."
Birdie, birdie, birdie. Could have been a stunning single di
S. Davies | 07/14/2010
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I was mortified at the blandness of The Red Shoes, save a few good tracks. When Aerial was released, I didn't rush to buy it. I saw the predictable reviews by the expected droves who would rave about any KB album, regardless of the quality, purely because it was Kate. I read cattle-written reviews claiming nonsense such as the Goddess has returned with her masterpiece. No, sorry. That remains to be The Dreaming.
While Aerial is not a total disappointment, which some may expect after so many years, it's just not a triumphant return. Now, it could have been had it been condensed to a single album. There are a number of wonderful tracks on the album, and Kate's voice is still beautifully intact, unlike some other aging female artists, (poor Siouxsie). She still has the ability to write stunning melodies, though much of it falls in line with a middle-of-the-road Adult Contemporary sound. The bad songs are just bland and painful, and go on much longer than needed.
Tori Amos has made a career of trying so hard to emulate Kate Bush, and has failed terribly. On Aerial, we get Kate returning the favor with the terrible Tori Amos soundalike 'Joanni'. 'Caught A Light Sneeze', anyone? I also cannot get into 'Mrs. Barto-lousy', 'Bertie' or 'Pi' either.
On the good side, some of the tracks are very pleasant, to stunning. This includes the tear jerker, 'A Coral Room', as well as the more accessible songs, 'King of the Mountain' and 'How To Be Invisible'. Kate even manages to keep some of the longer tracks engaging, which includes the attractive 'Sunset' and 'Nocturn'. The closest thing to the crazy Kate of old is the title track, 'Aerial'. A stunning up and down number that nears parody with the somewhat forced laughing with the birds bit in the middle of the song. I love that Kate still has a little lunacy while trying to maintain an ordinary life. Though I will admit, she did go a little overboard with the whole birdie theme on some of the tracks.
So while as a double album, I give Aerial 3 stars, if the highlights I mentioned were released as a single disc then it would most certainly deserve 5 stars. Either way, it's nice to have some new Kate music, but not nice enough for me to blindly praise it as the best thing she's ever done. While not her best album, it's well worth owning."
Kate Bush's masterpiece
Mr. Victor J. Grimes | 07/28/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is Kate Bush's best work. She has created so much amazing music before, yet..."