It hardly seems to begin or end. Just continue. With Aerial, Kate Bush's
first CD in 12 years, we could be anywhere between her first single, "Wuthering
Heights" at age 19, and her mid-'80s masterpiece, "Hounds of Love." But then,
her ghostly eroticism and classic English Romanticism always seemed not just
from another time, but out of time too. In her absence Tori Amos and Fiona Apple
have carried on the crazy piano grandness, though Bush's true "daughter" today
is probably Björk. It takes a lot of courage to walk away from stardom,
and it's interesting to hear Bush so easily stride back. The '70s-sounding synthesizers,
the unique drama of her voice, the deep space of her production work, those galloping
drums that cannon into climax: you'd know her tide-and-sky sound in a second.
Then there's the way she moves from loving lyrical tributes in "Bertie" "Here
comes the sunshine, here comes that son of mine" to singing the extended
decimal virtues of "Pi" or dueting with the Australian children's entertainer
Rolf Harris on "The Painter's Link" (and aiming for the sublime rather than the
ironic). Over two CDs the music expands towards novel-like richness. Of course
it feels like a journey. A woman like this doesn't get reborn every day.