Kate Bush's first album is quite endearing. Her squeaky voice, self-harmonising and piano flourishes are distinctive and much-imitated, but a lot of this album has aged badly. The arrangements are very middle-of-the-road 70's - think the Carpenters. It's at its best with just Kate's voice and piano, when she sings in a simple, clear tone without any squeaking, silly voices or theatricals. "Kite" is a particularly annoying example of this bad taste. The lyrics are firmly in the realms of innocent female adolescence, tackling such thorny subjects as babies, periods and fantasy crushes. It's a good thing that this album had a couple of huge hit singles to give her a foot up into the business, from where she could start to do much more interesting things...
October 7, 2003