Aerial is cleaved in two, separated into one disc of song-type pieces and another that examines the continuum of a day with spiritual verve. It has cryptic cover art, elliptical lyrics, unpredictable arrangements, and at its center is Bush herself, art-rock queen, who really just wants to sing about ... suburbia? Well, not the suburbs, per se. But Aerials grandeur comes mostly from the simplicity of contentment and joy. Bush lives happily in the English countryside and lets her mind travel to the flashy or sensual places where her music used to; the music here, whether Renaissance-based, piano-led, or jazzy and exploratory, is ultimately pretty genteel. After all, Bush doesnt need an illuminated manuscript or complicated theme to describe the joy of being a parent. Here comes that son of mine, she sings in Bertie. You bring me so much joy. Aerials photography draws meaning from domesticity clotheslines and swimming, birds alighting on golden ponds and even Disc 2s song cycle unfurls like a scroll of familiar family stories. As in anything of Kate Bushs, there are bits of the fanciful, opaque and intellectual in Aerial. But shes aligned her particular magic with the boundless promise of everyday human life, and thats uplifting.
Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.