I feel it too Kate
If ever there was a unique singer and artist, no matter what you may think of her voice, it's Kate Bush.
As with most of my absolute favourite musicians, I can remember the moment of discovery clearly, as though it were yesterday. In Scotland, at one time on the local TV channel, they used to fill time with music videos (if anyone can remember what they called it tell me!). I was sitting with my Dad at around 5pm or 6pm after school, waiting for my evening meal. Up pops Kate, prancing about a field, singing with utter abandon and waving her arms about. I was captivated by her and the energy she had, in particular.
Although I love many of her albums, the one I return to the most is "The Kick Inside", her first. "Feel It" comes from that album and this live version is even more breathtaking than the recorded one (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NsAtfW1oarM).
In the album version, she has taken a more straightforward approach, using pretty much one vocal style throughout. Its plainness means the song is simply presented, leaving the listener to mull over the subject matter in their own minds. In the live version, it's a different story. From the beginning, there's a bigger presence of Kate, and the lyric's full meaning, sensuality and eroticism are at the forefront.
In "The Kick Inside" version, she sounds a lot younger: almost incapable of having had the experience she relates! In this one, however, there's no room for doubt and she goes for it. It's actually a better vocal, which is something that happens often when you record. The day of recording may not be your best, but it has to go ahead. Or, with the passage of time, the singer understands the song better (even if they themselves have written it).
If someone were to mimic her, they would invariably focus on the highest part of her voice, but this live vocal proves that there is much more. It's one thing I like about her later work - the fact she sings more in the lower range. I suspect her legendary love of smoking may have caused her voice to change- who knows for sure. It could simply be the natural lowering of a voice that happens to women as they get older.
The subject of this blog and this particular choice is more to do with interpretation; this song being a perfect example of how to bring out a lyric and create impact. The dynamics are great (where she chooses to swell the voice - 00.34-38 - or sit back - 1.27-1.28); how her voice executes runs effortlessly (sequences of notes in fast tempo - 1.00-1.06); the way her top notes ring with purity and confidence - 00.50-00.52. She also utilises the pause to give more effect to the phrase "you're beautiful....aren't you" (1.44-1.46). Her minimal use of breath throughout should also be noted - no gasping for air! It's calculated correctly for each phrase and you don't hear the in-breath, even though she's closely on the mic.
The overall delivery is playful where it should be, sensual where it should be, and honest in its approach. Kate is most definitely a woman - W.O.M.A.N - I'll say it again.