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Kate Bush

The Kick Inside (vinyl)

Review by Gary Hill

This 1978 release was the debut album from Kate Bush. It established her as an art-rocker and really fits well with the rest of her catalog. It also produced her first UK hit in the form of "Wuthering Heights." I have to say that, while I prefer later albums, I really like this one a lot. I should note that I previously reviewed two of these songs on a compilation album. For the sake of consistency the track reviews here are copied or modified from that review.

This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) form in Music Street Journal: 2022  Volume 5. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2022.

Track by Track Review
Side 1
                  
Moving

Weird effects that at times sound like strange animals starts this number. Piano rises up from there and Bush's voice comes over the top in extremely high range. The track builds forward as a classically tinged prog rocker from there as other layers are added to the mix.

The Saxophone Song
As you might guess, this song features some saxophone work. It's more of a pop rock tune, but there are proggy elements laced all over the top of this. Of course, it features Bush's artistic brilliance. This explodes into a classy full prog treatment for an instrumental section at the end.
Strange Phenomena
There is a dramatic piano based concept at the start of this. Bush's vocals come over the top, and the track begins to evolve from there.
Kite
Opening with a playful kind of groove, this cut has such an intriguing sound and texture. It grooves in a quirky, tastefully off-kilter kind of jam. This is so cool and unusual.
The Man with the Child in His Eyes
There’s a definite classical texture to this. It has an almost musical theater feeling to it, but more along the lines of operatic theater. I wouldn’t consider this to be as strong as the Hounds of Love material, but it’s a great piece of music nonetheless.
Wuthering Heights
The music here is pretty and rather delicate, but Bush’s voice is angular and waif-like. It makes for an intriguing contrast. It turns more rock oriented as the rhythm section joins later and they really take it to new levels. There are several changes and alterations along this course. There are some rather Yesish moments in the music later and Bush’s voice purely soars at times.
Side 2
                         
James and the Cold Gun

This has a fairly mainstream rocking sound to it. It's classy and so cool. It's also proggy, but it's one of the most mainstream things here. There is a tasty rocking instrumental movement at the end that is fairly short, but serves well as the outro.

Feel It
A piano and vocal based number, this is classy. There is a lot of style on the number, and it has a real jazzy texture to it.
Oh to Be in Love
Piano and vocals are again the only elements as this song starts. Other instruments augment the arrangement as it makes its way forward. This gets rather bouncy and theatrical later. It has a real artsy, proggy angle to it as it builds outward. There is an intriguing instrumental interlude with some cool keyboard elements at play.
L'Amour Looks Something Like You
There is almost a bluesy rock vibe at play as this gets underway. It has a vibe that makes me think of standard 1970s rock songs, but it's shifted toward an art rock side. The piano has some particularly evocative moments.
Them Heavy People
I really dig the bass work on this song. The cut has a great bouncy art rock kind of vibe and a lot of cool textures at its heart. I really love the groove of this piece.
Room for the Life
Piano again brings this number into being. Other instruments join before the vocals do. The cut has a mellower and slower vibe to it. It feels rather playful in some ways. This has a bit more of a pop music texture to it.
The Kick Inside
The title track closes the set, and piano begins it. That serves as the backdrop as the vocals enter. Some classical strings are added to the mix, but otherwise this artsy number keeps the piano and vocal concept throughout.
 
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