Kate Bush

Aerial (Sony)

In chick-flick terms, Kate Bush is Gone With the Wind. She's a gem of a songstress who does romance in ways that have been imitated but never duplicated. She had the screechy-voice thing before Björk, the eccentricity of song structure before Tori Amos, and the lyrical weightiness before Fiona Apple. After a twelve-year hiatus, she's returned with a don't-call-it-a-comeback comeback album, Aerial. The ambitious double CD flirts with the dreamy landscapes and ethereal moods that are familiar territory for Bush, but she's grown -- and her initial audience probably has, too. Gone are the fierceness and angst of The Dreaming and the raw sex appeal of Hounds of Love. While not straying far from what's expected, Bush has descended into adult-contemporary abstractness. It's mom rock for new-agers with Anne Geddes prints in their bathrooms. Aerial is certainly a pretty album and a nice listen while shopping for candles, but it was hardly worth the decade-long wait.
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