50 Words for Snow
In this exquisite new CD Kate Bush uses the motif of snow to create a dream-like world exploring themes of love, loss and transience.
50 Words for Snow comprises seven achingly beautiful songs, mostly built around Kate’s haunting piano and distinctive vocals (now lower and richer than in her younger Wuthering Heights days). The album also features guest performers whose duets with Kate provide a sense of dialogue and drama, including Kate’s young son Bertie, Elton John and Stephen Fry.
Lyrically, the songs resonate with the strange beauty and emotional power of fairytale. Snowflake traces the journey of a falling snowflake in ecstatic, Blakean cadences, while Lake Tahoe features a dream reunion between an old dog and his ghostly mistress.
The jazzy Misty recounts a surreal, disturbing tryst with a melting snowman; the breathily chanted Wild Man evokes the vulnerability of an elusive yeti-like creature. Snowed in at Wheeler Street tells of lovers forever losing each other across endless lifetimes, while Among Angels speaks more hopefully of love and healing.
On a lighter note, the ingenious title song features Stephen Fry expressively enunciating 50 synonyms for snow, ranging from the poetic (“mountainsob”) to the comic (“psychohail”).
This CD comes beautifully packaged in a booklet including lyrics and delicate, monochromatic images.
A work as unique and intricate as a snowflake itself, 50 Words for Snow makes compelling listening.