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Kate Bush's '50 Words for Snow'

If it weren't obvious enough from the lyrics -- "roll his body / give him eyes" -- a smoochy picture in the CD sleeve illustrates "Misty" as a song about getting it on with a snowman. It's one of several jarring, unpredictable moments on veteran British singer-songwriter and pop experimentalist Kate Bush's second album of 2011, "50 Words for Snow" (Anti-). Frequently the spacey piano arrangements, stately backup choir and Elton John cameo (on "Snowed In at Wheeler Street") give these seven long songs a certain ethereal beauty. But the album contains too many interminable clunkers, like the repetitive eight-minute title track, in which actor Stephen Fry enunciates "creaky-creaky," "melt-o-blast" and "Zhivagodamarbletash."

KATE BUSH

"50 Words for Snow"

GRADE B

BOTTOM LINE Pretty songs can't make up for veteran singer-songwriter's long-winded weirdness

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