Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Kate Bush: The Dreaming [EMI America, 1982]
The most impressive Fripp/Gabriel-style art-rock album of the postpunk refulgence makes lines like "I love life" and "Some say knowledge is something that you never have" say something. Part of the reason is that Bush is flaky enough to seek the higher plane in "a hired plane," although as you might expect the resulting analysis often crumbles under scrutiny. It also helps that the emotional range of her singing sometimes approaches its physical range, although when it doesn't you'd best duck. But the revelation is the dense, demanding music, which gets the folk exoticism of current art-rock fashion out of mandolins and uillean pipes and didgeridoos rather than clumsy polyrhythms, and goes for pop outreach with hooks rather than clumsy polyrhythms. B+