Sing It Loud ft. The Siss Boom Bang - k.d. lang Album Review
Never mind Rumer and Adele, excellent crooners and yelpers they may be, but Lang is the real deal, no question. "Sing It Loud" ends a drought of band involvement which previously ended with the early trio of exploratory country albums in the late '80s, all recorded with The Reclines. After racking up a string of hit solo albums, initially sparked by the Grammy-supplying "Ingenue" in 1992, Lang's star has burnt oh so very brightly, strengthened by the 2008 set "Watershed", a Top 40 album in the UK. This album heralds her first return in 20 years with a backing band, not that you'd notice much of a difference.
Strangely, this album's cover, featuring Lang bellowing into a conical megaphone and featuring splatter-fonts of "Sing It Loud", is grossly misleading. I was expecting the Canadian singer to go all rock and roll on our asses – instead, this is the pure classic balladeering and vocalising we've come to expect from Lang – and for the most part, it's as sumptuous and addictive as gooey chocolate mousse.
"I Confess" is the lead track and the first single, one of a few co-written with band-members Daniel Clarke and Joshua Grange and as strong a track as you could wish for, although possibly not the strongest tune on the album. That award goes to the spine-tingling "Perfect Word", carelessly offered as a free download on her website – dur, hello! This song is good enough to halt traffic and unite war-zones in my humble stupidity, so quite why you'd fling it for free is beyond me.
But, there is also the title track which, despite the incessant repetition of its title in the chorus, is as worthy as anything on "Ingenue", while "Inglewood" is a plaintive and reflective Americana hymn, dressed up with pedal-steel guitar and a graceful, almost gospel, refrain. In fact, much of this 10-song selection feels like a back-to-basics approach, lightly seasoned with to-die-for arrangements, with few failures.
I'm slightly undecided about the song "Heaven" or, more to the point, the cover of it. As a Talking Heads song, extracted from their triumphant "Fear Of Music" album, it's a mildly typical Byrne-esque dream-piece of what the world up-above might be like. Lang has slowed it down to a mercurial and funereal pace, beautifully sung and exquisitely scored, yet I want it to be a bit more celestial, more flamboyant – and I guess that is where this entire album occasionally falls down.
"Sing It Loud" doesn't leap out of the speakers, it doesn't fire up the mirrorball and it doesn't quite have the blissful and shimmering hedonism of her previous solo works, but it does ooze the typical languid Lang shang-a-lang and deft arrangements that we've all become used to. Not a triumphant return, but an absorbing one.
You may be interested in
- Tue 27th Jun 2017 to Wed 5th Jul 2017 Tony BennettBuy Tickets
- Wed 28th Jun 2017 and Thu 29th Jun 2017 Cliff Richard: Just Fabulous Rock n RollBuy Tickets
- Wed 28th Jun 2017 to Thu 14th Dec 2017 Michael Ball, Alfie Boe: Together AgainBuy Tickets
- Fri 30th Jun 2017 Michael Ball, Alfie Boe, Greenwich Music Time: Together AgainOld Royal Naval College (Greenwich)Buy Tickets
- Sat 1st Jul 2017 and Sun 2nd Jul 2017 Cliff Richard, Greenwich Music Time: Just Fabulous Rock n RollBuy Tickets
- Thu 20th Jul 2017 to Sun 30th Jul 2017 Indigo GirlsBuy Tickets
- Sat 29th Jul 2017 Joseph ArthurBorderline (Westminster)Buy Tickets
- Tue 29th Aug 2017 AJ CroceO2 Academy (Islington)Buy Tickets
- Mon 13th Nov 2017 to Wed 15th Nov 2017 Nerina PallotBuy Tickets
- Fri 17th Nov 2017 to Thu 23rd Nov 2017 Rhiannon Giddens, Kaia KaterBuy Tickets
- Sat 25th Nov 2017 to Tue 28th Nov 2017 Rhiannon GiddensBuy Tickets
- Thu 6th Sep 2018 to Sat 8th Sep 2018 Barry ManilowBuy Tickets