Sounds like we have a consensus out there!
The Sensual World failed ( commercially ) to match the massive success of 'Hounds Of Love'. It's hard to know why. Maybe the time was right for that album - and who can deny that 'Running up that Hill' and 'Cloudbusting' are some of the finest singles ever. Maybe Kate just left it too long, as she often does, and the world had moved on.
The Sensual World succeeds as a great album however. It's cornerstone is undeniably 'This Woman's Work' which reliably brings tears to my eyes. I'm still not really sure what it's about - at one level Kate seems to be at the bedside of her dying mother, while on another the line 'I know you have a little life in you yet' could be about a mother to be. Genius.
Other stand outs are 'Reaching Out' about, well, reaching out - but Kate captures the beauty of such a simple, but essential gesture. 'Deeper Understanding' - about the way people are turning to technology for company is remarkably prescient and captures the mood of someone all alone,bar their computer. 'Never Be Mine' a song about regret - again executed perfectly, with some lovely fretless bass playing.
What I really like about this album is you're drawn into a different soundscape. 'Heads We're Dancing' and 'The Fog' are songs unlike anyone else's. The former is like a modern folk song - a dance with Hitler, Kate being unaware of his identity. The second a smoky misty evocation of a child's first swimming attempt really, for me captures the feeling of a river late at night.