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Album Review

Returning, however tentatively, to the torch stylings that made Ingénue her most successful album, k.d. lang crafted an odd commercial comeback with Drag. A collection of covers that are somehow related to smoking, Drag is far more ambitious than the average cover record. She recasts Steve Miller's "The Joker" and the Hollies' "The Air That I Breathe" as slow, bluesy cabaret numbers, while traditional '50s pop like "Don't Smoke in Bed" and "Smoke Rings" act as seductive counterpoints. lang's rich voice and the measured arrangements make Drag a ringer for Ingénue in places, but the tone is considerably lighter and more humorous, which certainly makes it an enjoyable listen. Nevertheless, the very presence of a tongue-in-cheek, all-covers tribute to smoking is a little disheartening in the wake of the wonderful, if severely underappreciated, All You Can Eat, which found lang pushing herself forward. Drag, in comparison, can't help but sound like a retreat.


Born: 02 November 1961 in Consort, Alberta, Canada

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

When k.d. lang released her first major-label album in 1987, she caused considerable controversy within the traditional world of country music. With her vaguely campy approach, androgynous appearance, and edgy, rock-inflected music, very few observers knew what to make of her or her music, although no one questioned her considerable vocal talents. That confusion never quite dissipated over the course of her career, even when she abandoned country music for torchy adult contemporary pop in 1992 with...
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Drag, k.d. lang
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