It may not seem like it in these parts, but I'm still very actively reviewing albums. Both up this week at the Village Voice: my takes on Kate Bush's Director's Cut and Lady Gaga's Born This Way. True to form, I like Gaga and love Kate (Director's Cut is my favorite album of the year so far -- it's a lot more fascinating than a rehashing of lesser works may seem).
Just for the fun of it, I rank the Director's Cut reworks after the jump...
From my favorite to least:
1. "Moments of Pleasure"
2. "Song of Solomon"
3. "Top of the City"
4. "Rubberband Girl"
5. "Deeper Understanding"
6. "And So Is Love"
7. "Never Be Mine"
8. "The Red Shoes"
10. "Flower of the Mountain"/"The Sensual World"
11. "This Woman's Work"
(Again, this is an evaluation of the new versions -- "This Woman's Work" in its original form pretty much > just about anything else Kate's done, which makes this entirely too obvious remake feel even worse than it probably should.)
And, here's how Director's Cut falls in my ranking of all of Kate's albums, again from favorite to least:
1. The Dreaming
2. Hounds of Love
3. Never for Ever
4. Director's Cut
6. The Red Shoes
7. The Kick Inside
9. The Sensual World
So yeah, I think Director's Cut wipes the floor with its source material. There's no way to put this so that it doesn't sound cheesy and overly sentimental, but I feel really lucky to have Kate in the world making music. Love her ridiculously.
And while I'm obsessing and loving ridiculously, here's my favorite interview of hers:
"One day I just had a stew, and tried to eat a bit of meat in the stew and it was so raw that I just identified immediately with the fact that it was an animal. That this thing was alive and it had been killed for me to eat it. And I thought, 'No. I'm not into this.' So I thought, 'I'll become a vegetarian.' And I didn't have a clue, you know? I had no idea what I could eat. All I knew was that people didn't eat meat or fish. And I used to eat a lot of chocolate. So I lived for the next week off chocolate and tea."
Kate makes me feel like I'm in a perpetual state of living off chocolate and tea.
A few other recent reviews of mine, while I'm on the subject:
My Chris Brown review for The Daily is currently M.I.A., but surprise: I don't like it (but even bigger surprise, I will admit that F.A.M.E. is by far his best album in that a few of the tracks are better than mediocre).
Some other stuff I'm enjoying that I may or may not get around to writing about: Junior Boys' It's All True, Friendly Fires' Pala and especially (and maybe even more surprising than Pala, which shocked the shit out of me), GusGus' Arabian Horse. That one could easily end up being my No. 2 of 2011. Works beautifully as an album and takes house music really seriously without getting tangled in strict dogma. Very special.
Skream's "Hats Off," which to my knowledge was just officially released though it's been on the Internet for months, is my favorite track at the moment. The guy turns nostalgia into an art: