Fiddling with a beloved creation is generally regarded as taboo for an artist, but Kate Bush gets a pass for a few reasons. Firstly, well, she's Kate Bush, so it's exciting that she's releasing anything at all. (Director's Cut is her third album in nearly two decades.) More interestingly, this collection of 11 reworked songs from The Sensual World and The Red Shoes reminds us that the best artists aren't afraid to stare themselves in the face.
The most obvious difference is Director's Cut's greatest strength. Bush is older, so her voice is lower. But instead of downplaying this glaring fact, she keeps her vocals front and centre in these pared-back versions, remaining an immensely compelling, nuanced and occasionally utterly bonkers singer.
She's mostly replaced digital production with earthier analog sounds, though there are a few dramatic departures. She's dispersed the crescendoing emotion of This Woman's Work over a twinkling ambience, and digitized vocals bluntly emphasize Deeper Understanding's tech-age prescience. That the songs retain their vibrancy and ambition with this new energy - more focused, less stridently theatrical - is a testament to her songwriting and enduring appeal.
Top track: Never Be Mine