There are so few genuinely distinctive, genuinely able vocalists around these days that KD Lang stands out like a beacon. Yes, there are many who can emote with their voice standing in front of a microphone; few who can hit a note squarely, and understand the intricacies of tone, inflection and pitch.
Sing It Loud isn’t just Lang’s best record in a long, long time, it’s about as good an advertisement for her brilliance as a singer as we’ve a right to get this far into her career.
For the first time since her early albums with The Reclines back in the mid-‘80s, Lang has employed the services of a named backing band, The Siss Boom Bang, and she has recovered a spark that has been missing since the enervated rumble and tumble of those records.
But Sing It Loud isn’t a return to cow-punk territory. There’s a lot of the refined and smoochy country sound she’s famous for; there’s just more energy here, and it never betrays its intrinsic personality for any degree of slickness.
Apart from the opening track, ‘I Confess’, most of it’s pretty low-key, and even the rock’n’roll twang of that track soon back-peddles into a weepy-sounding thing. Much of the album is swoonsome, and peddle steel guitars and ukuleles abound; but so do reverberant guitars, crisp drums and deep, woody bass.
Yes, the recording quality is superb.
The only cover is ‘Heaven’, that great Talking Heads song, and while she phrases it quite differently from the original, she doesn’t really improve on it. (In other words, part of the appeal was that this gorgeous song was being uttered by a nutter, David Byrne).
Lang’s own compositions are great. She’s really discovered a natural flow to song, and how to create the right kind of canvas for her creamy vocals to flow over. GARY STEEL
SOUND = 4/5
MUSIC = 4/5