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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.

Customer Reviews

Amazing. The best work of lang's career.

One would be mistaken to overlook k.d. lang's smoking-themed cover album as gimmicky. It is nothing short of a masterpiece. Yes, her covers of the well known songs The Joker and The Air That I Breath are great, but give a listen to what she does with My Old Addiction (a cover of David Wilcox's song, Chet Baker's Unsung Swan Song) or Till The Heart Caves In (a cover of T-Bone Bennet's song originally titled Kill Zone and co-written with Roy Orbison and Bob Neuwirth). These song showcase why k.d. lang is considered by many to be one of the greatest voices of our time.

Amazing vocals, songs and production. A soundtrack to your dreams!..

K.D Lang has long been considered one of the best vocalists in ALL music - regardless of genre. Her voice is pristine and yet full. Quite unique. Her technique and delivery are reminiscent of another era, when singers had to have a real voice. This record is quite different from her other efforts. It features mostly gorgeous, jazzy ballads, beautifully arranged and orchestrated. It sounds like a soundtrack to a film-noir: LUSH. The album is virtually a masterclass not only from Lang, as a performer, but also from the producer Craig Street, engineer Danny Kopelson, mixing engineer Patrick McCarthy and orchestrator Jimmie Haskell. A masterpiece!

Smokin' Perfection

It always surprises me that some people (i.e., music reviewers) do not understand irony. Whoosh! Right over their heads. This album is close to perfection. The song choices matched with k.d.'s incomparable voice are divine. But don't overlook her tongue-in-cheek nuance. Dig one more layer down and you realize that these songs fit seamlessly with our present culture. We're all about addictions. The longing, heartbreak, shame, and cynicism are all poignantly captured in "Drag." Oh . . . and I've loved "Theme from the Valley of the Dolls" since I was five years old. Now I love it all over again.


Born: November 2, 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...
Full Bio

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