k.d. lang

Drag

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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.

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