Kate Bush and Me

David Mitchell at The Guardian:

Aerial is Kate’s third masterpiece, along with The Dreaming and Hounds of Love. What constitutes a “masterpiece” is only established by the ultimate critic, time; but even producing three contenders for the title in a single career puts a songwriter in the most exclusive company. “Bertie” is a madrigal about her young son, whose birth and upbringing accounted in no small part for the 12-year hiatus. By now my wife and I had a small child of our own whose toothy grin was for us, too, “The most truly fantastic smile / I’ve ever seen”. “Mrs Bartolozzi”, surely the only song by a major artist whose lyrics include washing machine onomatopoeia, portrays a housekeeper of a certain age. The drudgery of her life smothers her own memories and desires, and puts me in mind of a 21st-century Miss Kenton from Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day. The song “How to Be Invisible” contains a Macbeth-esque recipe for invisibility that is, Kate-ishly, both quotidian and magical: “Eye of Braille / Hem of Anorak / Stem of Wallflower / Hair of Doormat.” Disc one’s last song is my desert island Kate song: “A Coral Room”. Musically, this ballad for piano and vocal is one of her sparsest. Lyrically, it’s one of her richest, describing an underwater city, dreamy and abandoned and swaying and recalling Debussy’s prelude La Cathédrale Engloutie. The city is deep memory, crawled over by the spider of time, perhaps from the hills of time in “Moments of Pleasure”. Speedboats fly above and planes – perhaps a black Spitfire or two – come crashing down.

more here.