K.D. Lang "Reintarnation" (Rhino Records 2006)
Yee-Ha! It's a Line-Dance-O-Rama...
Hot Dog Damn, Ms Lang is surely having a right old hoe-down with her new album "Reintarnation" (see what she did there, eh?). One suspects that, for the most part, she had her tongue firmly planted in cheek whilst compiling this collection (which contains some of her earlier recordings, and some rare tracks - notably 'Hanky Panky' and 'Pine and Stew' which were only sold in small numbers at her concerts). Its certainly a barrel of laughs - songs such as "Pay Dirt" and "Big Boned Gal" (ahem), hell most of them, should be taken with a large pinch of salt.
Having embraced pretty much every musical genre going (except perhaps for happy hardcore), K.D Lang finally turns her wily eye to making a thigh-slappin (show) Country album. And why not? She's been around a while, she's got nothing to prove, so she puts her hand to the style of music she loves the most, evidently enjoying herself immensely in the process.
A word of warning though, its very glitzy. Perhaps tewnty tracks of full-on spangly anthems could prove too much, even for the most hardened Country fan, but there are hidden gems buried within. "Curious Soul Astray", one of the more melacholy ballads, is really quite gorgeous. Fair enough, its nothing hugely original, but the sweeping string arrangements send shivers up and down the spine, and Lang's vocals break into that familiar, smooth, honey-tinged tone that she does best. "Trail of Broken Hearts" has echoes of her previous hit "Constant Craving", and is (coincidently?) one of the better songs on the album. One track that perhaps could be buried and never spoken of again is the final showdown song "Turn Me Around". Apart from containing every single cliche in the book, it also comes with a tannoyed voice-over of an enthusiastic line-dancer. Ouch.
Overall there are no suprises in the sequence of the tunes. The formula seems to be "Hoe-down, Hoe-down, Heartfelt Ballad..." through to the end. But to be honest, it would be a bit odd if K.D Lang broke out, went seriously off-the-wall, and became all experimental on us. So all in all, Reintarnation is a pleasant album. Ok, it might err slightly on the Dad [Country] Rock side of the genre, and it does get quite silly in parts, but nonetheless a nice feel-good set of tunes. None too bad at all.
Date review added: Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Reviewer: Sian Claire Owen
Related web link: Artist's Website