26 April 2013

26th April - k.d. lang's Shadowland

Artist – Album: k.d. lang - Shadowland
Released:  26th April 1988             
Sounds Like: Tosh

I don’t know, k.d. lang may think she’s looking at me all seductive and sexy and ambigous on that album cover but, to be honest, she just reminds me of Rick Astley. What sort of a name is k.d. lang anyway? Why aren’t we allowed to capitalise it? Everybody else functions perfectly well within strict grammatical confines, I don’t understand why she has her own nomenclature rules. Her name is a proper noun, isn't it?? Anyway, back to disparaging her appearance: that strong manly jawline and magnificently coiffured quiff share more than a passing resemblance to the Lancashire heartthrob, no?

It’s not just in her androgynous looks that she conjured up the image of the original rickroller. She may never have achieved the musical perfection of ‘Never Gonna Give You Up’ (few have), but do you remember that old cover from Astley’s canon that somehow passes as a Christmas tune? I believe(/totally know) it’s called ‘When I Fall in Love’? This whole album sounds like that: overproduced, aged and just a bit rubbish. I mean, she (and he) really does possess an extraordinary voice and her (and his) music is clearly well written (I particularly liked the old country ballad ‘Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes’), but (as with his work) I hear no soul here. The lyrics are forlorn and she’s wrenching emotion out of each word by the book, but I just don’t buy it. It’s like the anti-blues. Stylistically, I hear a lot of Roy Orbison in the shuffling rhythm, slide guitar and captivating vocals, but I just care so much more about the Big O. The record may be a loving nod to Nashville, but it may as well be Newton-le-Willows (Rick’s hometown) for all that I care.

I hope that this record and I will not be 'Together Forever'.

By the way, this is totally against popular critical opinion, so, you know, you might like it. But there again, you may also love the Dixie Chicks and hate The Zombies, in which case I have only pity for you.  

Albumaday... rating:  5/10

1.       Western Stars – 3:12
2.       Lock, Stock and Teardrops – 3:28
3.       Sugar Moon – 2:26
4.       I Wish I Didn’t Love You So – 3:07
5.       (Waltz Me) Once Again Around the Dance Floor – 2:35
6.       Black Coffee – 3:17
7.       Shadowland – 2:28
8.       Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes – 2:20
9.       Tears Don’t Care Who Cries Them – 3:03
10.   I’m Down to My Last Cigarette – 2:46
11.   Busy Being Blue – 3:40
12.   Honky Tonk Angels’ Medley – 2:55

Listen to ‘Don’t Let the Stars Get in Your Eyes’: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7zXk7-T0CQ

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