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Customer Review

33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Underestimated, 28 Sept. 2006
This review is from: The Sensual World (Audio CD)
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.

Beautiful.
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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 4 Feb 2011 19:01:00 GMT
A No.2 UK album and one that hit No.48 in the US could hardly be called a failure. People just went for the 'Hounds Of Love' album cos 'Running Up That Hill' was on it-many probably ignored much of the 2nd half (not as catchy as the 1st anyway). The fact Kate can get into the Top 10 no matter how many years she leaves is amazing. Other big hitters like Debbie Harry, Chrissie Hynde and more having been sliding out of the charts for years.

In reply to an earlier post on 10 Aug 2014 16:57:59 BDT
Sensual World was and still is her biggest selling album to date, so a failure it certainly wasn't :)

In reply to an earlier post on 11 Aug 2014 15:32:35 BDT
'The Red Shoes' was referred to at the time of its release in some print as her biggest yet, but people always say that. Otherwise 'Hounds Of Love' would have been her biggest, tying with the debut album, and then 'Never Say Never' as it debuted at No.1 thanks to that show out at the same time heavily promoted it, after 'Lionheart' fell way below expectations, and Kate herself admits that.

Posted on 15 Sep 2014 01:41:57 BDT
Women's Work is about a man who's wife is due to give birth but the baby is breach and he is not sure if they will make it through.

In reply to an earlier post on 8 Dec 2015 14:47:03 GMT
Mr. Mc Perry says:
Yea exactly I was very confused when I read that comment, The Sensual World was also a hit in other countries: Australia, Canada, Holland, France, Germany, Italy Japan, New Zealand, Norway,Sweden+ Switzerland,

I wouldn't say many people ignored the 2nd half, I think it is very catchy and haunting and has a good story to it

I know many people that like the album as a whole, And also read you put:The fact Kate can get into the Top 10 no matter how many years she leaves is amazing

Doesn't just have to be the top 10 does it, The fact that she can still have hits in the top 10, 20, +30 is amazing

In reply to an earlier post on 9 Dec 2015 17:06:56 GMT
Mind you, her albums have been selling less and less since each one's release. I actually find most of Kate's albums quite galling. Sure she's a talent, but her songs can be so dense in tone, obsificating and not often calling for repeated listens over a short period. I do prefer a more straightforward, yet necessarily unpredictable approach and throughout the 80s, in the best decade of musical talent, Kim Wilde fitted the bill more than anyone, with every album and song-including the b-sides covering just about every subject and musical style there could be. Only she, unlike Kate, Sade, Alison Moyet, Annie Lennox, even crap like Minogue and Madogga the vile, has never ever been recognised for the talent she is, nor has her very excellent music. The starightforward (yet better than most could do) love songs didn't come till the last part of that decade, where people finally acted like she'd "arrived"-though only for that year. Before that, though, her songs were full of exploding aeroplanes, paranoia, toxic relationships, domestic violence, depressing isolation, unrequited wanting, decaying towns, rioting streets, police brutality, child sect members, missing children, suicide, torn apart loves, regretful past-longing, chirpy prostitution, dislikable people, thwarted dreams of a hopeful lost to the bad in dingy bars, the cold unwelcoming streets of Russia's capital, conformity, leaving home and more-even Native Indians losing their land to them white Colonials! All that in under 10 years! She made songs like no one else, and even when she became a little less rewarding as the 90s came around with more love songs (still most women do), she was still masses ahead of anyone. Sandra would be my next fave, her albums are great-she is pretty much the German Kim Wilde. Bangles next.

There's way too much emphasis on top spot nonsense-most great shoulda-been hits will never get deserved chart status, while all the crap does when it's too awful for placing 100! I must add, though, that Kate's work since her 2005 comeback has been horrible-not proper albums at all. 2005 only really had 'King Of The Mountain' and the last album didn't even have that! Sade's last one was dreadful too-her absolute worst, as was Stevie Nick's last two, and Cyndi Lauper has lost it for years, but at least these people don't deal out a bad album very few years-that'd be even worse. Still with all that time away-you'd think they'd come out with something better. Kim and Sandra can still be relied on, they just get no support at all, except from Europe.

I wish to balance my earlier point-in a way it isn't so incredible that Kate and Sade can rely on Top 10/20 placings, as apparently so can Alison Moyet and Annie Lennox. This is actually most unfair to other 80s artists when the actual material isn't worthy of it. I actually wouldn't have charted any of their last few albums at all. Kate has gone too far into weirdness and doesn't even make songs now, not like she did. You can be too offputting and odd for your own good, and I'm afraid Kate is being that, while Stevie is passe and self-indulgent-even worse than usual and aping all her old worn ideas, done much better by her in the past, and Sade's last was just weak and boring beyond belief. They manage to rely on a high critical acclaim that has never left them, and with age has gone into overdrive. Of the men, the wretched Depeche Mode, Simple Minds, Pet Shop Boys, Weller, Sting, Cure and Phil Collins get the same over-indulgent overbalanced thing. None of it's done on merit or quality of material. If it was, Kim Wilde would have more No.1 singles and albums than anybody else, with Sandra just after. At least with these two, Europe, who'll often take any old tat, actually gets it right and hears, understands and generally adores what the UK and wretched US are just not getting! Yet Minogue, Bananarama, Madogga, Dion, Carey, Tina Turner and all those other women of today do a berp and it's gold dust! Stupid world.

I do actually think that, apart from her first album "The Kick Inside", "The Sensual World" and "The Red Shoes" are her best works. I've always dug her choice of singles and thought they never got it wrong, and would say that both 'Hammer Horror', 'Them Heavy People' and 'There Goes A Tenner' terribly underrated. Possibly 'The Big Sky', though it does seem very repetitive, with little structure, doing much the same thing with little change for a full 2 and a half mins, but it does carry you with it. I do find her other albums rather an acquired tatse and need a lot of youtube testing in their entirety before I could even think of g etting them. With Kim, Sandra and Bangles, I don't need to test them. Kim will apparently finally get a proper album out next year, for all the support that'll get in the agesit,elitist weak-willed favouritism, over-familiarity-breeding contempt music world of no style, guile or substance these days. If she was held in the regard she should be that these other women get, oh the difference that'd make.
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