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"WILD YEARS-THE MUSIC & MYTH OF TOM WAITS" BY JAY S. JACOBS

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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Record Reviews > k.d. lang

MUSIC REVIEWS

k.d. lang-Drag (Warner Bros.)

 

k.d. lang's new all-covers album springs from an admittedly slightly obscure premise it is made up of songs that equate the act of smoking with a burning passion.

 

This passion manifests itself in many different directions ranging from the passionate sorrow of "My Last Cigarette" to a completely uncampy survey on the theme song from the '60s potboiler The Valley Of The Dolls to the surprisingly sultry take on Steve Miller's "The Joker."

 

As always, lang is a brilliant stylist and the song choice shows a quirky good taste. The arrangements can be a little overdone, but this somehow fits the whole cocktail nation premise of the disk. Drag is an album for long sleepless nights of obsessive longing.  (7/97)

 

Jay S. Jacobs

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Tony Bennett & k.d. lang-A Wonderful World (RPM/Columbia)

 

Last year's dual tour between old smoothie Bennett and former torch-and-twang gal turned chanteuse lang turned out to be a surprisingly smart pairing.  It has now spawned this album, a tribute to Tony's old pal Louis Armstrong. 

 

While the songs of the scratchy-voiced Satchmo may seem like a strange choice for these two silver-tongued song stylists, it turns out to be an inspired choice. 

 

The two take classic smoochers like "La Vie En Rose," "Exactly Like You" and "A Kiss To Build A Dream On" and if they don't exactly reinvent the wheel with them, they do beautiful, sultry versions together.  Bennett and lang's scrumptious interplay on "Dream A Little Dream Of Me" is the epitome of romance in a way that current singers like Celine Dion or Mariah Carey could never concieve of.  And even the slightly over-exposed classic "What A Wonderful World" feels fresh in the subtly scaled back orchestral take. 

 

Beautiful songs, well sung.  You could do a hell of a lot worse.  (11/02)

 

Jay S. Jacobs