KD Lang

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Angel With A Lariat (1987), 6/10
Shadowland (1988), 4/10
Absolute Torch and Twang (1989), 6/10
Ingenue (1992), 6/10
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993), 5/10
All You Can Eat (1995), 5/10
Drag (1997), 4/10
Invincible Summer (2000), 5/10
A Wonderful World (2002), 4/10
Hymns of the 49th Parallel (2004), 4/10
Watershed (2008), 5/10
Sing It Loud (2011), 5/10

(Clicka qua per la versione Italiana)

In the late 1980s, Kathryn Dawn Lang, raised in rural Canada, became one of the most original voices in the history of country music. In 1982 she formed the Re-clines, which recorded Friday Dance Promenade (Bumstead, 1983) and A Truly Western Experience (Bumstead, 1984).

An androgynous look, an outspoken lesbian sexuality and a rock-tinged sound turned her into a household name, via Angel With A Lariat (Sire, 1987), with Watch Your Step Polka, Tune Into My Wave, Got The Bull By The Horns and Diet of Strange Places, that offered a brilliant blend of country, pop, rockabilly, blues, honky tonk, Shadowland (Sire, 1988), a tribute to the Nashville sound of Patsy Cline, and Absolute Torch and Twang (1989), the album that marks a transition towards the old-fashioned ballad with Full Moon of Love, Pullin' Back the Reins, Trail Of Broken Hearts, Nowhere To Stand, Walkin' In And Out Of Your Arms.

Lang wisely abandoned the sterile world of country music with Ingenue (1992), that includes some of her most famous songs: Save Me, Constant Craving, Miss Chatelaine. The (mostly instrumental) soundtrack for Even Cowgirls Get the Blues (1993) showed that she could write music that is evocative and not only narrative.

Lang perfected her mellow and sensual style on All You Can Eat (1995), that features If I Were You, Sexuality and World Of Love.

Drag (1997) is another collection of covers.

Invincible Summer (2000) absorbs bossanova and surf.

A Wonderful World (Columbia, 2002), a collaboration with old easy-listening star Tony Bennett, is a tribute to the songs of jazz legend Louis Armstrong.

Hymns of the 49th Parallel (Nonesuch, 2004) collecs covers of classics by fellow Canadian singer-songwriters Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Ron Sexsmith, Jane Siberry, Bruce Cockburn.

Watershed (Nonesuch, 2008) is not ambitious at all, contenting itself with reviewing Lang's various personas. If one is morbidly interested in who she is and what she does, then this is the perfect setting to find out. If not, then this is the perfect setting to get bored to death. However, Dream of Spring and Coming Home pleases both sides, and the smooth flow of musical nuances in Thread and Flame of the Uninspired commands respect.

Sing It Loud (2011), de facto a collaboration with guitarist, songwriter and producer Joe Pisapia, relied almost exclusively on her virtuoso vocals because the songs were flat and dumb.

There has never been any doubt about Lang's voice, one of the most expressive in the field, but the quality of her material has never matched it, and it is no surprise that most people know her for her covers of other people's songs.

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