Tuesday, May 3, 2011
MUSIC REVIEW OF THE DAY: k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang - Sing It Loud
Cute band name. It's been awhile since lang credited the band up front. You'd have to go back to the Reclines days. Yes, that's significant, as you'll hear. Ever since Ingenue, lang's been travelling through the worlds of orchestrated pop, sometimes more pop, sometimes more orch, and every now and again, the Tony Bennett-jazz thing pops up. With this new band, we get a more modern rock record, including lots of deep drums. The lush sound she has preferred this decade is gone, replaced by, surprise, banjo on a number of tunes, mixed in with the rock.
Clever woman that she is, lang fools us on the lead track I Confess, which starts out softly, almost mimmicking the old sound, but then brings in the bigger production values, including heavy guitar chords and a Roy Orbison vocal vibe. That's one thing that doesn't change, no matter what style she's working in, that amazing voice just soars at times. From then on, you realize this is going to be much different experience, a real stretch.
Sugar Buzz is probably the most daring cut, and certainly the loudest. It has the feeling of Hendrix's Little Wing, with a couple of overlapped mellow solos that lead into a sexy vocal part. The biggest surprise is the album's lone cover, a remake of Talking Head's Heaven, which retains a little of the original's spookiness, and benefits from lang's perfect phrasing. As you can no doubt tell, this is a completely different kind of album from k.d. lang, and the changes feel fun, loose and right.