The turning point in her career
M. L. Johnson | Auburn, AL USA | 07/31/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After her first two albums, which were relatively conventional by comparison, this one had to be a real shocker. Especially with her second release, "Lionheart", it must have seemed like she was headed down the safe and uninteresting road of record company chanteuse. But, with this album, Kate evidently said "Thanks for getting me started, but I'll take it from here", and didn't look back. From the artwork alone, you knew you were in for something different: On the front, there's all manner of beasties and monsters emanating from her nether-regions, and, on the back, we're terrorized by several Kate-bats in flight. Inside, the music is markedly different as well, with much greater diversity in style, structure, and theme. Even though her best was yet to come, this may be her most important album in that it really laid the groundbreaking groundwork for her future masterpieces. Here is where we first hear her really exercising those legendary pipes of hers, and develop the unique vocal stylings for which she would become most renowned. Also, there seems to be much more attention given to the overall flow of the album, with one song often dovetailing into the next. This is, of course, something she would completely master on "Hounds of Love". This is also where she started making really interesting (if amateurish, by even mid-80's standards) videos for the singles off an album (which, here, would include "Babooshka", "Army Dreamers", and "Breathing"), another key element in her road to success. Aside from the singles, I also really like "Delius" (one of my favorite songs of all time), "Blow Away", and "All We Ever Look For". Not everything works completely here, but, hey, that's what happens when you experiment and take chances. And, because of the lessons learned here, she would go on to make two of the absolute best albums of the 80's. For her videos, be sure to get a hold of either "The Whole Story" or "The Single File" compilations."