‘drifting, twisting, terrablizza, shovelcrusted, snow’

December 1, 2011
By

Kate Bush – 50 Words For Snow
(ANTI-, 2011)

It was about a week ago when I promised there would be no more album recommendations this year, but that’s the great thing about running your own blog, you can go back on your word if you feel the need — and today, I feel the need.

Since moving to Colorado I have become somewhat obsessed with the changing of the seasons.  Maybe it’s because we didn’t have these cycles when I lived in San Diego and San Francisco, but more likely it’s because everything revolves around the seasons out here.  The way you live your life depends on what month of the year it is.  The raking of leaves, the shoveling of snow, the blasting of the swamp cooler — the skiing, the snowboarding, the mountain biking, rafting and hiking — bundling up in winter coats and scarfs to catch a show on Colfax or Broadway, or wrapping bottles of vodka and mixers in a picnic blanket to sneak into Red Rocks for a warm evening of music.  Day by day, month by month, year after year, the city and neighborhood in which we live changes.

Yesterday it was warm outside as the sun lowered over the Rocky Mountains into the blood-red West.  Today the sun has yet to glimpse the front range, and the snow has delivered a layer of silence to the white streets.  On the opening track of Kate Bush‘s latest opus, she documents the fall of a single snowflake.  ‘The world is so loud’  You can imagine how loud it must seem to the silent piece of sky falling to Earth.  ‘millions of snowflakes‘.  Millions of silent snowflakes silence the world.  When I went out walking this afternoon, I experienced this silence.  The only sounds were those of my own boots crunching a path through the fresh powder.   I think I love this album because I love the changing of the seasons.  No matter how ridiculous this material can be — and some of it is pretty ridiculous — there is something honest and real about what Ms. Bush is saying here.  I read an interview where she said she doesn’t listen to modern music at all.  After listening to this album, I can’t help but believe that to be true.  There is something very old fashion, yet timeless, about this material.

Giving personality to a snowflake, literally sleeping with a snowman until he melts away, soul-mates professing their love across the centuries, protecting Bigfoot from poachers, and a ghost searching for her long lost pet in Lake Tahoe…and as if that wasn’t enough, there is the title track — an eight and a half minute song(?) that literally rattles off 50 words for snow.  Just watching these words as I write this, I want to laugh.  I want to be embarrassed or ashamed of liking this album so much.  I mean, c’mon, look at the cover art and the video below!  But these 7 tracks — this 65 minutes of art-pop — is so much more than a sum of it’s parts.  Do you want to know what Winter sounds like?  Then listen to 50 Words For Snow.  Coming from someone who has never been a fan of Kate Bush, I assure you, you will find something different here — something you have never heard before.  Whether it will affect you the way it has affected me, well, you’ll have to be the judge of that.

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