Classic Albums: Hounds Of Love (1985, Kate Bush)

Revisiting the beloved Kate Bush album that brings an endless amount of emotion and thought provoking tracks. 

Written by Blake Hall

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Hounds Of Love is simply one of my all time favorite musical discoveries. It’s the most original and lovable pop album imaginable. Through its upbeat and dark moments, there is always a sense of intrigue and beauty to be found. These songs range from being catchy, weird, spiritual, fun and always beautiful.

 

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It starts off with “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)”, my all time favorite Kate Bush song. I know that’s a big statement but, seriously, have you heard this gem? It’s absolutely powerful, uplifting and poetic. Swapping places with another person is such an awesome concept.  Kate’s delivery is absolutely stunning. “Hounds Of Love” is like a more mature take on her first hit “Wuthering Heights”. And really it’s every bit as good.  It’s gorgeously romantic and upbeat.   “The Big Sky” has about as much joy as Stevie Wonder at the top of his game. I’m convinced this song has the power to rid of any pessimistic mood. Could a song possibly be more lovable? Next is “Mother Stands For Comfort” which, while being the weakest track of the first half, is still amazing.  Gives me a bit of an X-Files vibe with its eeriness. Next is “Cloudbusting”, which is a strong contender for all time favorite status for me. The orchestration and Kate’s angelic vocals give this song so much creativity and heart. The way she sings “just saying it could even make it happen” is my favorite moment in her catalogue. It evokes pure longing and anticipation.

 

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After the pop brilliance of the first half is where things start to get a little weird. This segment is referred to as The Ninth Wave and it tells the story of a person who is trapped under ice. It starts off normal enough with “And Dream Of Sheep”, a dreamy piano ballad until things get terrifying with “Under Ice”, which is the sound of pure horror. It reminds me of a score straight out of an Alfred Hitchcock film. “Waking The Witch” is pure madness. While it’s probably the weakest moment on the album, it’s so weird and interesting that I still love it. Definitely the album’s most bizarre moment.  “Watching You Without Me” is a strange little song with a melancholic, yet warm tone. I definitely enjoy this one.

Next is “Jig Of Life”, which is very epic and danceable. A unique song with a great atmosphere. “Hello Earth” is the most ambient moment of the album and is an incredibly eerie piano ballad that sounds like upcoming death. It’s the album’s darkest moment.  Then “The Morning Fog” brings everything down to earth with a very warm, life affirming and beautiful song. I like to think of it as waking up from a bad dream and expressing to everyone how much you love and appreciate them; akin to the ending of It’s A Wonderful Life.  It’s incredibly heartwarming.

 

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Hounds Of Love is in a league of its own. It’s an album that expresses pure joy, fun, darkness and a love for life. This is an album that makes one feel cozy, alive and feel as if they’re in the presence of a universal love. Anyone who has never listened to Kate Bush before must check this out as well as her catalogue in general. It’s an endlessly enchanting experience.

 

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