There's a new Kate Bush album. It's been an interminable twelve years for Kate fans. How should she leave us hanging for so long? Doesn't she love us?
Here's the deal about Kate Bush albums: In the Kate Bush field it's always winter. It's always slightly yesterday. Hedgehogs invent calculus. You're debating history with ghosts you never believed in, and the voices in your head are really coming from the walls.
I like the new Kate Bush album but I won't try to convince you you'll like it. I'll admit I had to listen both CDs about six times without a break before I realized how much I liked it living in my own brain. It wasn't till I heard it coming out my own mouth in the shower that I knew I liked it. Before then, I don't know what was happening, like getting out of your car at work and not remembering the drive.
These are not radio songs, three-point-five minutes and out. These are flowing, organic things that won't get a lot of airplay. There's confusing language. There are animal sounds. The network programmers will all raise their eyebrows and wonder how much ad space they can sell between the songs on Aerial. They'll conclude *none*. So you'll have to play them yourself.
Here are some of the lyrics to the songs on Aerial:
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"I found a book on how to be invisible
Take a pinch of keyhole and fold yourself up
Cut along the dotted line
You think inside out
And you're invisible"
How to Be Invisible
But what good are they without the sound? Maybe some of ideas can stand on their own.
The idea you could sing pi to infinity. The idea of powerboats cruising over the heads of drowning pilots. The idea of hidden animal languages. The idea Elvis is on a snowy hill riding Rosebud.
There are birds that sing on the album. I suspect digital processing, but there they are, chirping and tweeting in sync with the bass and drums.
Of course, Kate does her share of chirping and tweeting, and a lot of giggling.
If you're weird in the Kate Bush kind of way, this is the grail. It's Mecca. It's the second coming. It's the end of twelve years wondering if she was going to change her style after becoming a mother. It's the realization that somewhere it's still 1982.
Everyone else is going to listen, waiting for the syncopation and creshendo, the climax to songs that never began. Everyone else is going to say, "what the hell is this?" and walk away as if the keys are hidden and all you hear is a big wooden palace door. Unopenable with everything inside. Like a guy trying to understand the female orgasm. Everything's inside.
I want to write you a love poem
Every other woman wishes was written for her.
And if I have to write ten thousand
I will begin today
And if I have to lose everything I've earned
Then my life's work has been misguided
And if I die trying
Dream of me, my love.
I could have chosen no other fate.
"The acquisition of wealth should not be our primary goal. Nor should greater and greater numbers of readers. The foremost goal on our minds should be to create a story that is true to its own world view."
"It comes down to this: Writing novels requires an obsession with our truths. Those truths are not put into novels for witnesses but for co-conspirators."
Washington Post Book World
If not for wealth or fame,
From which vain spirit is motivation born?
For it moves my troubled mind as white clouds propel the locomotive,
And I am a victim in its path.
Paused on the darkened arctic shore
In long winter's night
Beneath the sleeping eagles and swirling aurora veil
May these words in electronic relativity
Shrink the thousands of miles to our thought
That cradled in lamb's wool
You feel my breath and beating heart
And know this discovery:
In the enigmatic calculus that brings word to mind,
To hand to paper
My first as my last
Could have been for no other reason
Than to reflect the wondrous and the beautiful