Anna Minard claims to "know nothing about music." For this column, we force her to listen to random records by artists considered to be important by music nerds.
Hounds of Love
This is how I know my friends actually like me: They put up with interactions like...
Me: Ugh, this sounds like something cool people would like.
Friend 1: [Awkward pause, checks to see if I'm joking] Anna, this is Radiohead.
Me: Ohhhh. Right.
Or this recent interaction, in a record store:
Friend 2: Do you know Kate Bush?
Me: Maybe. Isn't her voice pretty annoying?
Friend 2: [Patient yet exasperated sigh, a shake of the head] I'm buying you this album.
And they still hang out with me afterward! So now I'm doing a column on Hounds of Love, only instead of just listening to it for work, I also listened to it because someone I care about really likes it, which is way more pressure, right? (Also, to be fair to my comment above, the only Kate Bush song I'd ever heard before this was "Wuthering Heights"—I love songs about books!—and I still maintain that her voice in that song is truly annoying.)
But somehow, here she doesn't sound like a strange goblin/banshee person! The first track, "Running up That Hill (A Deal with God)," not only makes me smile and nod my head, it has a thing that happens about three minutes in that you should turn the volume way up for (sounds like "ba-dum, ba-dum-dum-dum OOOOOHH"!!!). These drums are totally allowed to come live inside my ribcage.
This sounds like it should be playing at my fantasy '80s sleepover. The whole first half of the album, each song—especially "Hounds of Love" and "The Big Sky"—is just waiting for a bunch of teenage girls dancing on couches with hairbrush microphones lip-synching together. This could have been the soundtrack of my adolescence! I think I would've turned out pretty badass.
I do not like the later song that sounds like Lord of the Dance ("Jig of Life"). Just no. Or the one that made me check my headphones to see if they were broken (they were not, the music is chopped up on purpose)—"Waking the Witch." But in general? Every time it loops back to track 1, I bust a grin, and in my head, I'm strutting and air-drumming and crazy-dancing (go look at her music videos!) with the best imaginary teenage posse ever.
I give this a "come knock on my window after my parents go to sleep!" out of 10.