A deeper understanding: Kate Bush old and yet new

Kate Bush has sent her legions of fans into delirious ecstasy with the promise of the forthcoming new / old album, in which she’ll be re-visiting some of the songs from her back-catalogue.

The new version of ‘Deeper Understanding,’ which was released for digital purchase on April 5th, reveals this revisiting process in action.

The prominent addition is the new vocoder trickery, which personifies the computer and really brings alive the sense of the computer as a sentient entity, seducing the lonely user (starting at 37’’ in the video). There’s a different percussion feel as well, as shuffling drums gently urge the music onwards.

There’s still the delightful little electronic chirping as she presses ‘execute,’ and there’s now an extended coda featuring more of the upright double-bass playing which characterised much of the original album, plus some chuntering from a waspish harmonica; it feels like an extemporised jazz session – I’ve always wondered what her music might be like if she sashayed into jazz, and this gives a brief and tantalising glimpse of what might result: spacious, groovy, understated.

Overall, it works: there’s enough of the old version to remind listeners of the original incarnation, yet enough re-invention and additional material to make re-visiting the piece worthwhile.  As usual with Kate Bush, she does the unexpected: reviews her previous material and presents it re-invented from a twenty-first century perspective, rather than simply churning out the stock ‘Greatest Hits Of…’ fodder that fans don’t want because they already have the albums, and newcomers aren’t sure about because it’s a compilation and therefore perhaps untrustworthy: if I like it, when I buy the individual albums, I’ll get the same songs again. Not like this, you won’t…

I’m looking forward to the rest of the album…

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2 Responses

  1. Probably not; she doesn’t strike one as living a life of excessive rock ‘n roll pleasure, necessitating a re-hash of old material to subsidise it!

  2. I’m hanging on for the album, though a part of me is thinking ‘does she need the money already’?

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