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Music Video Review: Kate Bush – “Deeper Understanding”

Kate Bush has finally released her much anticipated video for her 1989 song, “Deeper Understanding.” While the Internet might be buzzing with mixed reviews, we feel it’s only fair that I chime in too.

It is not a Lady Gaga video, nor is it a contender for an Academy Award (sorry Inception fans). Let’s accept this fact and move on, because it is neither of those things. It is what makes it a Kate Bush music video!

Although Kate Bush herself may not make an actual appearance in the video (with the exception of maybe her lips), she did direct it and it does feature stars Robbie Coltrane, Frances Barber, and Noel Fielding. Her son Albert is responsible for the voice of the computer program.

This reviewer will not be naive enough to think he could ever truly decipher the genius of Kate Bush. That’s for Bush alone to understand, but shall still give my review.

 

Kate Bush - Director's Cut Photo

 

I have always said that technology and social networking can be bring people closer together, but at the same time, it creates a coldness. If I don’t “like” your latest status update (on Facebook) or comment on your vacation pictures, it doesn’t mean I’m not your friend. And if you want me to know something about you, don’t expect me to read it on your Facebook wall (click here to see what I mean). Just invite me out for a drink and talk to me face to face. Furthermore, just because you have over a thousand friends or followers doesn’t mean you’re loved because a good majority probably doesn’t even know you.

The lyrics to “Deeper Understanding” tell the story of how one person shuts out the people in his life and finds solace in a computer program. This addiction to a computer program spirals out of control to the point where, as the lyrics go, “I neglected my bodily needs…I did not eat, I did not sleep” until an intervention was finally staged by the family members. But even after this little intervention, he still goes back to the computer program. He feels that he can find a deeper connection to a computer program than his family or anyone else in his life.

The video tells a very literal translation of the song, mixed in with some sci-fi Doctor Who-esque scenes. Robbie Coltrane drives his family away as he becomes addicted to a computer program. He develops this “deeper understanding” and relationship with this program, so much so that he goes to find the voice behind the program. In the end, the voice behind the computer program turns out to be some guy (Noel Fielding) who was using the program to create a false persona in order to profit off of Coltrane’s loneliness. You can imagine his anger when he discovers the truth.

The great thing about this song is that it was originally released 22 years ago and now, this song is still relevant to our times and can be used as a commentary on social networking (Twitter, Facebook) and technology in general. That, my friends, is the genius of Kate Bush.

The remastered version of the song uses her son Albert’s voice with autotune to create the voice of the program and technology that was not accessible to Kate Bush at the time of the release. I am sure it is something that she wanted to use then, and now she is finally able to release the track exactly the way she envisioned it over 20 years ago. The video may be low key for a Kate Bush “comeback” to some, but it is still cleverly done and is still fucking 100 % Kate Bush and her vision.

I know that without Kate Bush and her influence, the music scene would be in a completely different place than it is now. A lot of the great pop artists of today are influenced by her whether they realize it (which most of them do) or not. Kate Bush is a genius when it comes to lyrics, music and production and she will continue to influence the music scene so long as she is around and because of this, she will always maintain her longevity.

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  • tpepe

    i think you missed the point.. the AI has clearly possessed the lonely man who then goes to kill the man behind the voice, thereby freeing the AI. The man is just a pawn of technology. notice the eyes at the end. the AI has acquired eyes and a soul.

  • Str8jacketcub

    Thank you for this outstanding review! I was so impressed by the interpretation, and your link with the family guy Facebook clip was to the point and well taken. Thank you for your honest, fair, and well written review; it was so good I had to read it back to a couple of other Kate fans! Can’t wait to read the whole review of the Directors Cut from you. Cheers dude!-Paul