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Thread: The Sensual World

  1. #1
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    The Sensual World

    Discussion thread for Kate's sixth album The Sensual World. Thoughts, opinions, memories, interpretations, videos, likes and dislikes - everything TSW here!



    Kate Bush
    The Sensual World

    (EMI)
    Released: October 1989
    Chart: UK No.2 / US No.43

    • The Sensual World
    • Love and Anger
    • The Fog
    • Reaching Out
    • Heads We're Dancing
    • Deeper Understanding
    • Between A Man And A Woman
    • Never Be Mine
    • Rocket's Tail
    • This Woman's Work
    • Walk Straight Down the Middle (bonus track)


    Kate's sixth LP, The Sensual World, was released towards the end of 1989. Kate had originally planned to use Molly Bloom's speech from James Joyce's Ulysses as the basis for the title track, but was refused permission by the Joyce estate. She was finally granted permission some 22 years later, with "Flower of the Mountain" appearing on 2011's Director's Cut album alongside reworkings of material from The Sensual World and its follow-up The Red Shoes.



    __________________

    - SINGLES -

    "The Sensual World"
    Released: September 1989
    Chart: UK No.12
    Tracks: The Sensual World / Walk Straight Down the Middle






    "This Woman's Work"
    Released: November 1989
    Chart: UK No.25
    Tracks: This Woman's Work / Be Kind To My Mistakes / I'm Still Waiting






    "Love and Anger"
    Released: February 1990
    Chart: UK No.38
    Tracks: Love and Anger / Ken / The Confrontation / One Last Look Around the House Before We Go





    ___

    Unforumzed TSW listening party thread

  2. #2
    come out and level up Waylon's Avatar
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    I've had this album for a while and I've still never listened to it from start to finish. Something about it just seems...dull.

    However, I will say that "Love and Anger" is one of my personal anthems. I just love it!!

  3. #3
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    I think it's wonderful! (I wonder what the actual album artwork inside looks like, I've never seen it).

    I think it was bound to be pegged as a let down after HOL. But I think it's just an incredible, incredible work of art. The title track is beautiful. Like the poster above I really identify with "Love and Anger." "The Fog" is such a mature, evocative statement. The whole album has a WONDERFUL 80's sound in my opinion. So warm and lush. I mean I understand the criticism of being "dated" sounding sometimes - but sometimes I think sounding dated is a good thing! I mean - when we read literature from decades and decades ago it sounds "dated" too, right? So sure some of the instrumentation on TSW is 80's sounding, but so what? The 80's existed and Kate Bush was (and is) doing amazing work then and it's really exciting to listen back and remember that time and hear what such a visionary artist created during the time period. It transports you.

    "Reaching Out" is so breath taking. The first four tracks are stupendous! Honestly, each as good as the one before it. "Heads We're Dancing" is the first one I don't emotionally connect with but i still think it's a good song. "Deeper Understanding" is a masterwork. So prescient. And (what is I guess) the bridge, just after the Bulgarian singers sing, there's like this shift, this wondeful swoon, the music sort of takes a breath in, and then the piano starts tinkling in with this simple repetitive figure. It gives me goosebumps! It moves me so, I couldn't even tell you. And I feel only a songwriter of Kate Bush's caliber could have the compassion to write something so meaningful about such a strange problem/phenomena. "Deeper Understanding" is the product of an artist with an extrodinary sensitivity.

    "Between a Man and a Woman" is just okay for me. I like it, but again emotionally it doesn't nail me to the wall like a lot of the other songs. "Never Be Mine" and "Rocket's Tail" also don't illicit much in me, but I still like them. I guess TSW is definitely a top heavy album. However - "This Woman's Work" of course comes on and changes that. What a work of sensitivity! I don't even know what to say - just so much rawness and tenderness. Quintessential Kate Bush. "Walk Straight Down the Middle" I think reminds me of Never for Ever. Kind of quirky sounding instrumentation. A bit dreamy and other-worldly, whereas most of the album was pretty straightforward. Not so spacey. So I like it as an ending very much.

    Sorry this was so long. (I'm bored). The TLDR version is that I think the first four songs are an absolute masterwork, "Deeper Understanding" is a work of genuis, and ditto "This Woman's Work."

  4. #4
    Lyrical acuity and mum-smarts menju56's Avatar
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    ^ Great post.

    When I first heard The Sensual World, I was addicted. To the point where I think I burned out on it and kind of didn't feel any need to revisit it for a long period of time, and when I did it wasn't quite as good as I remembered.

    However, I listened to it again recently for the first time in maybe 18 months and was really impressed again. I think the use of Uilleann pipes throughout is exquisite, and also the Trio Bulgarka (especially on, for me, "Deeper Understanding.") Parts of it are "'80s sounding" but for the most part it's the best of the '80s sound; it has the lush, atmospheric quality that I associate with Kate and Peter Gabriel's 1980s records. And oh my goodness, Nigel Kennedy's violin in "The Fog" is piercingly gorgeous.

    Another thing going for it is how cohesive it sounds. All the songs feel part of the same group, to me anyway, although obviously it doesn't have the concept of The Ninth Wave. I think she admirably didn't try and remake Hounds Of Love and instead made a record that is beautifully atmospheric and autumnal. I think the cover and title are perfect for it.

  5. #5
    Let them eat cheese flan Nancy's Avatar
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    This is my autumnal album. There are songs I love and songs I don't care for on it. But you know, I'm glad Kate did a song about dancing with Hitler, because let's face it, somebody had to.

    My special favorites are the title track, Love and Anger, The Fog, Rocket's Tail, and Never Be Mine.

  6. #6
    let's face it couldbemessy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy View Post
    My special favorites are the title track, Love and Anger, The Fog, Rocket's Tail, and Never Be Mine.
    Great picks! I used to think nothing could top Never Be Mine. But nowadays I'm feeling the title track, Love and Anger, and The Fog more. Rocket's Tail is simply sublime.

  7. #7
    I was listening to this album the other day.

    Before that it was probably a couple of years since I'd listened to it from start to finish. I remember playing it a lot when I first got it. Later when I looked at the tracklist, I always thought "meh" for some reason. Then I listened to it and fell in love with it again. It feels so honest and heartfelt. It's unlike any other Kate Bush album. I even enjoyed the Hitler song!

  8. #8
    Such a stupid get. Moz's Avatar
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    Taking her albums chronologically, The Sensual World would be the first Kate album I would consider uneven. Some of my favorite and least favorite Kate songs are here. The title track, The Fog, Never Be Mine, and Walk Straight Down the Middle are the former; Heads We're Dancing, Deeper Understanding, and Between a Man and a Woman are the latter.

  9. #9
    Let them eat cheese flan Nancy's Avatar
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    Heads We're Dancing, Deeper Understanding, and Between a Man and a Woman
    The Unholy Trinity! I don't know if I have a most-skipped song, but Between a Man and a Woman must be up there very high on the list.

  10. #10
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    I never got the Deeper Understanding hate. Never Be Mine, TWW, DU and The Fog are my favourites here.

  11. #11
    Such a stupid get. Moz's Avatar
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    Icon15

    Quote Originally Posted by Nancy View Post
    The Unholy Trinity!
    Ha! Exactly!!
    I wasn't sure you'd remember that.

  12. #12
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    "The Fog" alone merits 178 contiguous plays of "Between a Man and a Woman," 32 spoken word monologues from "Jig of Life," and .5 sha-na-nas from "Ireland."

    My favorite veer Kate album, btw. =D

    Love and Anger =

  13. #13
    condemned to wires and hammers ebby's Avatar
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    My favourite off this have always been "Rocket's Tail" and "This Woman's Work", but there are really strong songs on the album.

    I do love how she incorporated the Bulgarian traditional vocal music into her own songs so well. The effect is quite stunning.

  14. #14
    'twas mbc 'twas kollins Michael Michael's Avatar
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    I would do something drastic (I don't know, eat a live centipede) for a remastered Sensual World, a la the HoL remaster. Rocket's Tale is this amazing song, but on the CD I own it just sounds tinny and cramped (dunno why, when The Fog sounds lush and expansive). Purely a mastering problem, probably pretty easily fixed. When it 'explodes' I want to be floored! EMI, remaster this! Then The Dreaming! Then go to your room and think about what you did (or didn't do!)

  15. #15
    HUH! HUP! HYAAAAT! Joey's Avatar
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    A gorgeous if unbalanced album.

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