Sound — 10
Kate Bush is probably one of the most talented artists ever; yet, she's one of the most overrated too. This british lady has achieved a string of successes through the years (and she's been in the musical industry since 1978). She's never been a massive figure, but she's a respected and admired artist with incredible musical skills and a huge bunch of faithfull fans. "Hounds of Love" is probably her most well-known album, and in my opinion, her musical masterpiece. This album was recorded in 1984, but still today sounds really advanced, risky, groundbreaking. People who worship Bjork or Tori Amos should really build a new altar for Kate: her creativity and her edgy proposals should make other artists blush and hide. Listen to the majestic "Cloudbusting" or the sensual "Running up that hill": you can almost touch her feelings, her voice is so physical, "Hounds of love" and "The Big Sky" are happy upbeat songs; in contrast, the second half of the album is sad and dark: irish jigs, oriental sounds, ashtonishing sound effects, prayers, Kate's voice is sometimes sharp and high pitched, sometimes cold and soft as velvet, and she adopts different accents to make her songs sound yet more dramatic.
Lyrics — 9
Kate Bush's songwriting style has sometimes been described as surreal; the truth is that most of her lyrics tell weird or unusual stories. In this album, she sings about making deals with God to improve communication between people (Running up that hill), about falling in love (with a hunting metaphor), about a serial killer who visits his merciful mother after one of his murders (Mother stands for comfort) or a boy who tries to hide his father from the government (Cloudbusting). The second half of the album is a "suite", a collection of stories under the title of "The Ninth Wave": Kate tells the story of a woman who falls in the sea, drowns, stays in a "limbo" state and finally survives after being visited by her alter ego. The ghost-themed "Watching you without me" and the emotional and sensitive "The morning fog" are maybe the most lyrically remarkable moments of the album.
Overall Impression — 10
Kate Bush is a musical goddess, a fabulous singer and brilliat lyricist. Her intelligence is reflected in this album, which I consider one of the top creations of Pop history: "Hounds Of Love" is a masterpiece, and it shopuld be as adored as Beatles' "White Album" or Bowie's "Ziggy Stardust".