After a hiatus of nearly twelve years, Kate Bush is back with a new double album and, considering the broadsheet hype surrounding Aerial, you’d think she had re-invented the wheel.
However, for all the vision and scope that this release features, you can’t help but feel slightly disappointed. The production is bold and ambitious, but threatens to drown several otherwise excellent songs; the listener is ultimately bombarded by an array of lengthy, similar tracks that wander around without really going anywhere.
There is still much to enjoy amongst Aerial’s sixteen songs; lead single King of the Mountain is a strong opener, whilst the likes of Pi and Mrs Bartolozzi display a streak of hushed beauty, containing the kind of off-beat lyrics that only Kate Bush could ever get away with. For all this, Aerial comes very close to crossing the line between whimsical magic and slightly misjudged mawkishness on a number of occasions; at times you can’t help but feel that the likes of Bjork create soundscapes very similar to Kate Bush but in a much more compelling fashion.
Overall though, Aerial is an interesting album, albeit one that seems to be trying a little too hard.
Reviewed by Dante Smith