This is one of Kate's darkest recordings - suitably, the front cover boasts a flurry of mythical beasts flying out of under Kate's skirt, and the back has a bunch of bats with her face on them. This sets the scene for a collection of fascinating, morbid and haunting songs with very different subject matter to most pop/rock music: The Wedding List is about a woman whose husband is murdered on their wedding day and sets out to get revenge (it's also brilliant to boot), while Breathing, about nuclear war, features the immortal backing vocals: "What are we going to do? We are all going to die!" The album opens well, with Babooshka and Delius, then settles into a warm but slightly disturbing sound. After a while - basically by "Egypt", which is the closest any Kate song has ever come to being a filler - the slow pace gets to you, but then the album springs into life with The Wedding List, Violin and Army Dreamers, then finishes with the epic-sounding Breathing. (Always entertaining, especially with the rumours that an EMI official came into Kate's studio while the backing vocals of "in out in out" were on repeat, and asked her if she was planning on selling such pornography.)
Overall, this album is beautiful, rich and varied (something very rare in pop music), and doesn't sound too dated considering it is more than twenty years old. The lyrics are funny, clever and slightly bizarre (The Infant Kiss in particular), and the music is beatiful and absorbing, if somewhat eccentric at times. Depite the low points of Blow Away and Egypt, it is still a worthy addition to the collection of anyone who likes proper pop/rock music, and an great antidote to most of the stuff going around today.