Kate Bush is probably best known for her beautiful ballads, such as Running Up That Hill or Wuthering Heights. However, it would be difficult, if not impossible, to describe her work in terms of a single genre. Never afraid to experiment, Kate always boldly pushed the creative boundaries, merging literary, cultural and stylistic influences into a unique style of her own. This courage in experimenting with music, together with her beautiful, powerful voice guaranteed her a place among the most influential artists in modern music.
‘Director’s Cut’ is Kate’s ninth studio record and comes six years after her last studio release, a two-disc album Aerial. This collection is a reinterpretation of 11 songs from two previous records, ‘The Red Shoes’ (1993) and ‘The Sensual World’ (1989). Three songs were entirely re-recorded, some pieces feature guest artists (e.g. Steve Gadd, Danny Thompson, Mica Paris) and all lead vocals and drums on the album are brand new performances. The first single released from the album, Deeper Understanding, is accompanied by a short film directed by Kate herself and starring Robbie Coltrane, Frances Barber, and Noel Fielding.
This album is many things. It is unconventional, experimental, lyrical and moving while remaining subtle and sophisticated. It is music that does not have to be loud to be powerful. It is a different take on an anthology, a unique “Best-of” album. Songs written in the past gained a new life with this recording, becoming more refined and more poignant than ever. The new arrangements allowed for the music to be rediscovered and reinterpreted, providing a brand new perspective on the classic pieces. The new version of Song of Solomon is one example where this rediscovery allowed for the message to transpire more clearly through the vocals. Excellent Lily also gained a different sound whilst retaining its original, powerful nature. Deeper Understanding sounds in parts more synthesized, and although quite peculiar at first listen, the changes do reflect the theme of the song perfectly. This Woman’s Work is another piece which gained a new life with this record. The more subtle instrumental arrangement allowed for the vocal part to come forth, turning an already moving ballad into a truly touching piece of art. Changes to the arrangement of Rubberband Girl made the already fun song sound more modern, but without losing its originality. In its entirety, ‘Director’s Cut’ is the home of pure musical beauty. It is a collection of striking music pieces. It is essential listening.
Remakes of classic masterpieces are very popular today, both in music and in film. The results may not always satisfy everyone. Although “modernizing” music may be making it more accessible to younger listeners, to those used to classic sounds it may not always come with ease to listen to remastered records. However, if there is one thing Kate Bush is known for, it is pushing the boundaries, which is what this album does. The songs were not just remade – they were given the form which brought out the best features of the music, as viewed by Kate herself. ‘Director’s Cut’ is thus exactly what it seems – the author’s own perspective of her work.
By Natalia GronowskaKate Bush – Deeper Understanding (Director’s Cut) by One Thirty BPM