Review #68: Hounds of Love, Kate Bush

Karla Clifton
3 min readApr 10, 2021

#68: Hounds of Love, Kate Bush

I would say that I struggled to listen to pastoral pop singers until I heard MAGDALENE by FKA Twigs, a masterpiece which is NOT on here. (My brother agrees with me that this is a crime.) But I would say that most of the pop singers I love have a pastoral element to them: Lada Gaga on “Marry the Night,” Grimes on “Genesis,” Lauryn Hill on “Nothing Even Matters.”

I now know what they all owe their pastoral popness to Kate Bush.

The first time I listened through this, I was extremely neutral and didn’t pay much attention. She kind of has a case of peanut butter mouth (though perhaps I’m using this term too liberally), and I was pretty sure I’d heard this sound done better.

However, when I read the RS blurb and realized that this was from 1985, I was much more interested. 1985! So ahead of its time.

Also, love the album cover with the doggies. That about covers it.

(Addendum: When I sent this review to my friend, he informed me that I’m “wrong to have any criticism at all” and that this “definitely should be Number 1.” He also said, “I don’t think she has peanut butter mouth at all. I think she’s just British.” It felt irresponsible not to represent this bold view.)


“Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” — Kate Bush is so dramatic, but this totally grooves.

“Hounds of Love” — Oh man, that beat, that guttural voice, I’m in love!

“The Big Shy” — She sounds a little like The Go-Gos here.

“Under Ice” — Oh, I love this freaky goth bit she’s got going on.

“Waking the Witch” — AHHH, this one scares me, oh my God, all those weird needly voices. I love this. Oh God, when will it end?

“Watching You Without Me” — Second half of this album is amazing and beautiful. This song reminds me of Tarzan.

“Jig of Life” — An epic Irish folk jig with a real fiddle solo!

“Hello Earth” — Fine, she does have a gorgeous voice.

“The Morning Fog” — Is that a harp? Legendary.


“Mother Stands For Comfort” — Goth piano piece about sneaking out as teens — wow, who cares.

“Cloudbusting” — Love the title, love the little mandolin riff, but this one drives me nuts. The dog across the hall howled both times I played this song. (Addendum from a Kate Bush Fan: “‘Cloudbusting’s’ the best! … [It’s] in the movie Palm Springs.”)

“And Dream Of Sheep” — Oh my God, this album is soooooo sloooooow.


When I first heard Blue by Joni Mitchell, I didn’t get it at all. I suggested that God Ween Satan: The Oneness by Ween (which is apparently NO LONGER ON SPOTIFY?!) (Edit 2/7/22: It’s back on. Hallelujah!) would be a better fit for the 3rd place spot.

About a month ago, something shifted inside me without my noticing, and suddenly Blue was all I wanted to listen to. I was listening to Blue when I went for my daily jogs. Do you know how infected with Joni Mitchell you have to be to want to listen to BLUE when you’re RUNNING?

This is all to say: I don’t know if I “get” Kate Bush yet, but I wonder if my tune will shift in a few months.

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