Kate Bush hasn’t ever sounded much like anyone but herself. Her idiosyncrasies are very particularly hers, but her new album takes the idea of self-resemblance to a new level – Director’s Cut is comprised of 11 uncanny recordings of songs from her previous albums This Sensual World and The Red Shoes. Following as it does the release of only one album of new material in 18 years, it’s a self-indulgent exercise, but at the best moments it provides a worthwhile reintroduction to some of her lesser appreciated work.
The original recordings are refined across the board, often with minimal development, but sometimes with profitable reorchestration. The frenzied minimalism of ‘The Red Shoes’ benefits with warmth from Bush’s preferred analogue recording techniques, while a refreshed arrangement of ‘Rubberband Girl’ excludes the dated synth drums of the original. The concept behind ‘Deeper Understanding’ most warrants a reworking. Its original idea – the person (played by Robbie Coltrane in the video, below) who installs a computer program to plug the gap left by an unsatisfactory real world existence – has turned out to be as prescient as the promo is disturbing. The newly extended version benefits significantly from new technologies; the unexpectedly affecting, almost-human voice of the program is a digitally manipulated sample of Bush’s son, Albert (of ‘Bertie’ fame). Pretty lucid at first, the final stages of the track warp it beyond recognition.