This record is a delight! From its accessible opening tracks Running Up That Hill and Hounds of Love, to the somewhat manic Waking the Witch (the only acceptable use of heavy metal-style growling I’ve heard to date), Kate Bush’s shrieking highs and atmospheric lows create a joyously otherworldly album.
Hounds of Love is a lyrically rich album, with a wide-ranging art rock style to match. This is an album of two parts, with the more grounded first five tracks serving as an introduction to the sea-themed bulk of the record. The two sections are focused on very different subjects, but their shared musical themes pull the album together. The often repetitive rhythms and prominent drums combine to create a powerfully driven undercurrent to the piece, which contrasts well with the occasional calmer interludes like the ethereal And Dream of Sheep. Kate Bush has a well deserved reputation as a bit of an eccentric, and this side of her is not lost on Hounds of Love; some of the most enjoyable parts of the album are the sudden stylistic changes and weirder moments like the whispered exchange on Jig of Life (over here!).
The weakest part of this album is definitely Mother Stands For Comfort, a slow paced and laboured exposé of motherly devotion that seems out of place in an otherwise entirely engaging piece. But one faltering moment is not enough to spoil this timeless record.