K.D. Lang – Shadowland (1988)
I mentioned last week that I appreciated Carole King’s ability to hit a note and move on with life.
There are times however, when I fully endorse artists that take their time when arriving at a note.
The man who wrote the book on moving targets? Bing Crosby.
His landing gear is down looooong before he touches down on a given note’s tarmac. Particularly in his signature song, White Christmas, he swoops into just about every note and I wouldn’t have it any other way!
If Bing is King of the slide-ins, K.D. (or intentionally lower case k.d.) is the Queen. She has some terrific slides of her own on Shadowland.
Check out this beauty (at 2:30):
I’ve heard the argument that Lang is often better than her song choices and there may be some validity to that theory. If it is true here, it’s due more to singer strength than song shortcomings. I don’t think that’s the case though as I quite enjoyed the Shadowland set.
The musical highlights for me included:
– Busy Being Blue’s late night sax, some of the finest since Peter Gabriel’s Start
– the straight-out-of-a-saloon piano in (Waltz Me) Once Again Around the Dance Floor
– the delightful Maui (or happy place of your choice) imagery conjured by the ukelele in Sugar Moon
Strong as the backing band may be, make no mistake, it’s a backing band.
The singer is the star; when it’s a world-class, Top 5 chanteuse, that’s probably the way it should be.