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Kate Bush - Never Forever
Label: Capitol Records
Release: 1980

Tracklisting:
Babooshka
Delius (Song Of Summer)
Blow Away (For Bill)
All We Ever Look For
Egypt
The Wedding List
Violin
The Infant Kiss
Night Scented Stock
Army Dreamers
Breathing
Never Forever - Kate Bush
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Average Blamo User Rating: (6 votes)

Kate Bush's third, in 1980, is a definite step up from the first two - Kate was now infull control of her band, and her arrangements, and it shows. As far as albums go, NeverForever pretty much caters for all tastes. You get her solo piano (Infant Kiss), waltzing(Army Dreamers), full-on rock (Violin), dream-like music (Delius), epics (Breathing), andof course, a massive single (Babooshka). All done to perfection.

The aforementioned "Babooshka" kicks off the album with an instantly catchy melody, and a staggering chorus - a well-deserved hit. We go from there to the dreamy "Delius (Song ofSummer)", and then through to "Blow Away" a nice song, and a tribute to Bill Duffield, a lighting engineer who died in a tragic accident on Kate's 1979 tour.

The next 2 are pretty underrated in my opinion - "All We Ever Look For" is a catchy classicwith some great lyrics and melodies. And "Egypt" might just be little more than a showcasefor the keyboard of Middleton, but what a keyboard - his stunning outro solo makes the song,and is a great way to close out the first side. Side 2 instantly begins with a bang - themacabre infectiousness of "The Wedding List". Running on a cool-ass guitar riff, and Kate'spowerful vocals, this song should have probably been a single, despite lyrics like "I'm gonna fill your head with lead!!!!"...but hey! If Lou Reed can get away with taboo, then Kate could have as well!

Next up is the massive "Violin", a breakneck-speed rocker that instantly starts beating the shit out of you, and doesn't stop until the close. Kate contributes her craziest vocalsyet - she sounds like a banshee. "Jigging along wwwwwiiTTTHH! the fiddle oh Johnny!!!"Great record - some of Kate's screams (especially the crazy ending - i won't spoil it) canbe a little much for some, but i love it personally. The mood quickly changes though, as Kate starts her piano classic, "The Infant Kiss". Kate manages, not for the first time, totake a taboo subject and make a great, beautiful song out of it (although the song isn't actually about paedophilia, but there's enough there to make your average Daily Mail readerhave a heart attack).

Following the short "Night Scented Stock", we go to the waltzy, and memorable "Army Dreamers". A song that deals with a mother who feels at fault for her son, who was killed in action. A memorable chorus, and some of Kate's greatest lyrics in this one.

So, we've had everything on the album - everything's up to such a high standard, that it'sgoing to take a lot for the closer to keep up! But it does. It does more than keep up.As rocking as "Violin" is, as catchy as "Babooshka" is, and as beautiful as "Infant Kiss"is, at the end of the day they're all thoroughly beaten by the closing track. The track is,of course, "Breathing".

Breathing is pretty much a nightmare, put into music - the music is full of suspense, andthe vocals are full of desperation and fear (the song is about a baby, or a spiritual being,being unable to break out of her mother's stomach at the time of a nuclear blast, and generally gasping for air). The song is so incredibly powerful, even at this early stage. But even then, the power of the song is still taken up a few notches, when it comes to thegigantic, cataclysmic finale. As the instruments all go off with such power and the background vocals sing the refrain "what are we going to do without/we are all going to diewithout"...Kate really smashes out her last lines, always rising with intensity, before finally screaming out the line "Oh, life - is - Breathing."...the effect this has is undescribable, but one time, it left me near-enough hyperventilating. Truly, the mark ofa great, great song, and to me, the greatest song ever written. In 5 minutes, Kate createsa musical nightmare of not being able to breathe, and pulls it off with utter perfection.

So overall, it gets a 10. Even without "Breathing", it would probably come close to the big 10, but with "Breathing", it's pushed into the stratosphere. Heck, even if half of these songs were actually bad, this album would probably get a 10, again due to "Breathing".It's that brilliant a record. What an album, and what a song.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

could be considered uneven. it's pretty transitional, but even if kate is still writing songs in her older style, they're at least way way good. and the songs in new styles are way way great.

babooshka is a great way to start the album. one site called this her greatest achievement. i dunno about that. but it is a great song.

some more mellow piano ballads follow next. but kate fucks around enough witht hem so they're way differnet than early stuff. on one song, you hear the steps of a person walking, then turning on a radio, then turning it abruptly off, then walking back. hahaha.

night scented stock is a goofy vocal experiment, and a little unneccesary. it is chilling to hear all those kate voices though.

infant kiss is a creeeeeeeeeeeeeeepy song about pedophilism (actually, i heard it's about something else but i forgot what) that sets the tale to a nursery rhyme type melody. HEH!

army dreamers has a vicious theme and lyrical point with soft music. an old trick, used since pink floyd's "us and them" but a really effective one. plus, the "click" noise is a great rhytmnic device, and in the video kate blinks her eyes in time with that. HEH!!!!!!!!!

breathing is a completely amazing way to end the album. apocalyptic, and chilling and truly frightening, especially in the way it just ends....

a great album to add to your collection, and it might even be a good place to start. it's not as uncompromising as the dreaming, but features lots of experimentation, and even has plenty of those piano based songs that aren't quite ballads that kate writes so well.

Reviewer Rating of CD :

 


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