Review Summary: It may not be perfect, but it's a suitable companion album to her firstLionheart
is a mixed bag of the pop singles that dominated The Kick Inside
and the folk influenced tracks that took a secondary role on the album, and this characteristic helps Lionheart to be cemented as a suitable companion album to its predecessor. This companionship is generated because the simple, cute, squeakily sung tracks that filled the debut, The Kick Inside, are present on this album, but take a backseat to the quirkier and more explorative folk numbers that Kate Bush has become known for, which is the adverse of Kick. In Kate's discography, The Kick Inside was the kind of debut that represented the cardinal character traits Kate had. The follow up, hastefully completed just nine months after the debut, was the record where Kate was left to expose the smaller artistic flaws in her folk influenced quirky material that wasn’t received nearly as well by the commercial audience that was targeted because of its inaccessibility. This is exactly what makes Lionheart unlike most follow up albums.
For example, "Symphony in Blue" is an adorable song that could have been included on The Kick Inside but it's not songs like these that make Lionheart so interesting. It's actually the quirkier tracks like "Coffee Homeground" and "Don't Push Your Foot on the Heartbrake" which express a side of Kate Bush that is only heard on this album. This side, while never living up to her fully developed personas of the 1980's, expands on the innocent, well mannered Kate Bush and her early influences. Sure, the album's lead single, "Wow," has the explosive chorus you want in a twinkly chart climber, but that's not far off from what the previous album had in abundance.
The mix of renewed aspects from Kate’s previous outing, with the newly emphasized, unconventional material found on Lionheart, assist it in succeeding with its innocently humorous vocal lines and simplistic pop structures. Despite featuring some of Kate's signature lyrical styles, the album lacks in its overall construct and cohesion. Unlike the albums to come, this offering isn't as mature or grand; it's much more a set of honest pop songs without a drive for top tier work which made later albums so great.