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50 Words For Snow

50 Words For Snow

21 Nov 2011
4.2 out of 5 stars 446 customer reviews

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
If you've been reading the reviews of this album you'll notice quite a striking dichotomy. Most professional reviewers and many here at Amazon give it a full 5 stars, but then there are a significant number who actively dislike the album, handing out a 1 star accompanied by a slew of derisory comments.

What to make of it?

Well, if you're after pop songs and easily accessible melodies you may well be disappointed. Instead this record takes a more extended modern classical or jazz approach. It's subtle and it's a definite grower.

Personally after initially being a little nonplussed I really love it a lot now. Lyrically it's particularly strong and really creates an atmosphere of the season. Currently it's probably my favourite listen of 2011.

So, if you are open to a high quality subtle slow burner (and a great winter album for years to come), go ahead and buy (a quick listen/sample will not reveal its charms). If however you're after something more immediate maybe give this one a miss.
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Format: Audio CD
Being a fan of all Kate's albums, it feels that she has in some ways come full circle, returning to the evocative simplicity of her early work but creating new moods and atmospheres that are fresh and intriguing. After listening to this for a few weeks, it has a special meaning to me. I often play it as a late evening chill out.

Just listening to her in the latest radio interviews, Kate clearly has never seemed happier and her musical Mojo remains undimmed. It seems she already has ideas for her next project and we will be hearing of her more often in the years ahead.

Not so much a collection of songs, but 7 short story 'tone poems'. I welcome Kate's experiment with longer song structures to lose oneself in.

Whilst I would admit this is not an album of catchy seasonal ditties, this album needs patience and repeated listens in order to fully appreciate its beauty. Kate is an artist who produces work on her own terms, free from the shackles of the demands of fan blogs and the music industry establishment.

My general impressions: Shut out the world, put on this album and immerse yourself for an hour uninterrupted in Kate's winter wonderland. Despite only a few listens, new details and elements of the stories are starting to develop in my head. This work is so organic, evocative and dreamy. Forget your troubles and the recession, just escape into Kate's alternative world.

Snowflake: Kate views snow as a substance transforming a landscape or garden with its physical beauty. Kate finds the world so loud and 'lowest common denominator' sometimes, whilst snowflakes are all unique and individual. With repeated listenings, the repeated piano and Bertie motifs become less intrusive and ghostly sounding electronic keyboard details emerge from the mix.
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By Red on Black TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 21 Nov. 2011
Format: Audio CD
Two albums in a year from Kate Bush is some feat even if "Directors Cut" didn't quite hit the mark. Now there is the sullen crystalline beauty of "50 words for snow" an icy requiem to winter, snow, snowmen, drifts, Christmas and much more. This album has only seven songs but it exceeds an hour and centers on the creation of piano driven soundscapes that glisten and ripple at a glacial pace. This is no traditional Santa ridden clichéd Christmas album. The chill moods of these songs are such that you almost see your breath in the winter air and feel the weight of snow-covered trees. It starts with "Snowflake" a stunning hymn to the little cloud droplets that echoes Robert Frost's poem "Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening". The songs haunting piano coda plays out over nearly ten minutes where Kate Bush's 13 year old son Bertie brings a eerie "Snowman" choirboy quality when he intones "I can see horses wading through snowdrifts/My broken hearts, my fabulous dances/My fleeting song, fleeting". Bush's insistant vocal is a joy which she then goes on to better in the next two exquisite songs that proceed against the backdrop of the musical whiteout. "Lake Tahoe" is over 11 minutes and starts with the dulcet tones of English counter tenor Stephan Roberts. Its piano meanders carving out blissful melodies over Kate Bush's best vocal on the album with a song infused with an almost Talk Talk ambience. Next up "Misty" is about the love of a human for a snowman, which suggests frivolity, but far from it. Starting like a jazz composition, Bush proceeds over nearly 14 minutes to chart the inevitable waning of doomed passion. Ultimately these three ballads are more akin to the type of moody but euphoric soundtracks produced by Thomas Newman.Read more ›
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Format: Audio CD
At first listening through, this album doesn't leave that much of an impact, perhaps apart from the somehow mesmerising title track "50 Words for Snow" with Stephen Fry's linguistic agility working his way through words for snow in a multitude of languages.

I almost dismissed it after one listen, but gave it another shot, and found this is one of those albums that slowly grow on you. It has that very admirably British of qualities that I usually call "understated grandeur". After a while, it actually feels monumental in its seeming simplicity, having crept under your skin, and growing on you like so many crystals of ice and snow.

This may not be to everyone's taste, but if you have liked the more downbeat direction of Kate Bush's music, as was also very prominent in "Aerial", than this should be right up your alley. Personally, I definitely prefer this to the almost over-the-top experimental sound of "The Dreaming". Yet I also admire Kate Bush for doing an album like that – or almost any of her albums, for that matter. Like the true artiste she is, she seems to do everything for her own enjoyment, and not to cater to any commercial interest or a particular public, then leaving it to others to squabble over whether her new album is as good as her previous, or her first.

Perhaps with the honourable exception of "The Kick Inside" and "Lionheart", this has quickly become my most listened to Kate Bush album. I definitely didn't expect that when I listened to it for the first time.
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