I don't want to open this album review on a negative note, and the general public would disagree with my assessment, but Hounds of Love
isn't better than The Dreaming
. The good news is that there are only about five albums in the world better than The Dreaming
, and Hounds of Love
isn't too far behind.
Bush was apparently wanting to streamline her sound to appeal to a broader audience, though she claims she didn't do that consciously, and that claim has some credence given the effect of one of the major hit singles - "Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)" - had on people. It turned out to be a major danceclub classic in the UK, yet looking at the music video, she clearly envisioned it as a more 'classical' number.
The first five tracks are meant to be pop singles, although the atmospheric "Mother Stands for Comfort" never had much pop potential. My favorite piece from that first half of the album is the delicious "Cloudbusting", which features some crunchy violins (and the video, which co-starred Donald Sutherland, was apparently one of the stars of the MTV era). The title track is also quite a treat, lushly and perfectly produced.
The following seven tracks are a musical suite called 'The Ninth Wave'. It begins with a beautiful piano-based ballad called "And Dream of Sleep", which is followed by a weird atmospheric track that consists of an evil demon voice, titled "Waking the Witch". Then further along there's a traditional Celtic song "Jig of Life" - Bush said she'd always wanted to try that style, because that's what her family would play when she was a child.
I'm not going to mention every song, but they're all well worth the price of admission. Really, this stuff is pretty alluring and brilliant! All in all then, Hounds of Love
is another masterpiece from Bush.
[Footnote: Don Ignacio's Blog supplements this Review with a bonus track-by-track commentary]Rated:
by Reviewer: Don Ignacio
(blogging at Don Ignacio's Album Reviews