A deeper understanding: the madness of Kate Bush

Kate Bush explains her odd decision to recut tracks from The Sensual World and The Red Shoes. Having heard the latest incarnation of the former’s “Deeper Understanding,” her decision strikes me as perverse in a boring way. These albums have never sounded like misconceptions; The Sensual World especially works as a seventies singer-songwriter piano album to which Bush added Fairlight stabs, vocal samples, the Trio Bulgarka, and rewritten portions of Molly Bloom’s Ulysses monologue (a prodigious effort, but there’s a sense in which it’s the kind of “three-dimensional” portrait of femininity which attracts other men more than women). Several years ago I wrote that the stylistic miscellany that is The Red Shoes sounds braver now than it did in 1993 — not entirely successful, but whose eclecticism projects as enthusiastically as a zealous storekeeper brandishing every piece of bric a brac she can lay her hands on. “Rubberband Girl” and “Eat the Music” cut the Lemonheads to pieces.

I’m glad Bush avoided answering the hopeless, hapless question of whether her new approach signifies a “personal” direction as opposed to a “theatrical” one — it’s 2011 and we’re still stuck on this binary? How isn’t, say, Evan Dando’s performance in “Into Your Arms” not theatrical?