Hello Earth!

Hello Earth!

German-born vocalist and composer Theo Bleckmann has performed with Meredith Monk, reinterpreted the songs of Charles Ives, and regularly collaborates with the excellent jazz guitarist Ben Monder. On 2012’s Hello Earth!: The Music of Kate Bush, he covers the unique English artist’s songs, and Bleckmann isn’t afraid to put his stamp on the material. The musicians here—drummer John Hollenbeck (another frequent Bleckmann associate), bassist Skúli Sverrisson, keyboardist Henry Hey, and multi-instrumentalist Caleb Burhans—are clearly tuned into Bleckmann’s aesthetic. The album opens with “Running Up That Hill,” Bush’s most famous song. The group takes its time with it, replacing the odd urgency of the original with a quiet approach that has its own sense of drama. “Violin,” probably the rowdiest track on Hello Earth!, is fired-up punk rock with a goofy streak. “Army Dreamers” has an arrangement that comes off like a 21st-century descendent of a Gilbert & Sullivan song. The album closes with “This Woman’s Work,” a standout that shimmers with feeling and delicacy.

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