Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|k.d. lang & The Reclines|
Truly Western Experience
Genres: Country, Alternative Rock, Pop
The Big Second Album from the Big Boned Gal from Alberta. It's a Wild, Wacky Hodgepodge of Country Meets Punk and One Woman's Attempt to Bridge the Two. Her Great and Now Legendary Voice Wins the Day and this Disc is an Im... more »
The Big Second Album from the Big Boned Gal from Alberta. It's a Wild, Wacky Hodgepodge of Country Meets Punk and One Woman's Attempt to Bridge the Two. Her Great and Now Legendary Voice Wins the Day and this Disc is an Important Piece of the Lang Puzzle, Essential for Completists.
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loteq | Regensburg | 09/04/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After her first single, 1983's "Friday dance promenade", "ATWE" proved to be K.D.'s debut album. It confirms that she really started out as an authentic country singer; "ATWE" is more or less a tribute to Patsy Cline (even the band is called 'Re-Clines'), and there are no surprises as the group plunges forth with the standard country arrangements. Fluctuating between tight, rocking numbers like "Bopalena" and typically romantic pieces, this album is quite entertaining but not very original or ambitious. However, The Reclines manage to tear through 9 songs in under 27 minutes, which lends a somewhat radical flavor to this disc when you regard it as pop music -- but I was told that this is the usual running time of Patsy Cline's '60s albums. There are certainly some engaging moments, but I think "ATWE" is more interesting for what it points towards than what it actually does; you feel what K.D.'s voice is capable of. The lyrics are simple and 'rural', you certainly shouldn't expect something like "Ingenue", but it's clear that intellectual ramblings would be out of place in these surroundings. Due to its running time, "ATWE" is no good value for money; it's unpardonable that her first single isn't featured, as well as there could be some live performances or studio outtakes on this disc. I don't think it's a good purchase for casual listeners of K.D.'s latter-day work, though it can be rewarding for those who are interested in her roots."
loteq | 04/06/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)
"If you're a true kd fan, then check out this cd! This cd features high energy songs with catchy melodies and lyrics like "Bopalena" and "Hanky Panky". Her ballads like "Pine and Stew" and "Busy Being Blue" showcase her awesome voice. Each song has a different feel and shows how diverse kd's styles have always been."
Kicks! k.d. lang on the fence
Sanpete | in Utah | 04/12/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This album kicks, and it's for kicks. As others have said, it's a lot of fun, partly because the players were obviously having fun doing it. The first cut gets things off to a rollicking start, with lang belting out a cover of the rockabilly "Bopalena." She gives it her all, including some little screams not quite like any you'd be likely to hear in old rockabilly.
The next song appropriately begins, "Let's settle down," which is what it feels like after "Bopalena." It's a torch and twang ballad (yes, already) written by lang, with lyrics that go, "You think I'm mental in anguish over you? Does the fact that we may die urge you to pine and stew?" Not your typical country lyric, I think, probably a bit tongue-in-cheek.
The album has a good mix of upbeat, very lively rockabilly and slower but definitely not dragging ballads, even blues. Bandmate Stewart MacDougal takes the lead vocal on his own "Up to Me." The rhythm section is rock solid, the band spot-on in its old, sometimes slightly updated country flavors. Mostly originals, every song is a fine example of its type, even if there might be some untraditional edge to it. Well, then there's that last song ... I'll get to that one later.
The so-called All Music Guide says this album is uneven, but I couldn't tell which parts were supposed to be weak. Maybe the problem with the AMG and some other reviews is that they don't get what the album's about. A popular review (won't say where) says that the album shows lang started as an authentic country singer, that it isn't very creative, and that it holds no surprises. I suppose people might disagree about how creative it is--I think it's highly creative--but I think it's plain this isn't really a straightforward country album. And even if you aren't surprised by the blast of energy and fine quality as I was, it's hard to see how you could get to the last song and not be surprised!
A little history might help. This was lang's first album album. Before it was recorded, Katherine Dawn Lang had been casting about for some artistic direction, studying music in college but also participating in performance art. She hadn't been a fan of country music until she came across Pasty Cline, who became part of a new performance persona for her. But she didn't become a Cline clone or any kind of regular country singer. Along with the traditional Opry-ish skirt and blouse, she adopted the untraditional lack of capitals in her name, put on rhinestone-rimmed glasses with no lenses, sawed off the tops of some cowboy boots, and, well, just look at the cover, which she designed herself. It has the kitschy irony you'd expect from a performance artist in the early 80s, and it's for fun.
The fence on the cover can be seen as something like a divide between the ironic distance of her performance art and her genuine affection for the tradition of this music. But lang was on both sides, not in between. You can hear (and she has said) that she genuinely loved this music. Just as clearly she wasn't playing it entirely straight. It's tradition with a kink, a wink and a smile.
Then there's that last song, "Hooked on Junk." Just lang and her acoustic guitar, with a few sound effects in the background, it's like a cut from a completely different album, maybe a glimpse of where she might have gone if she hadn't run into Patsy Cline. It's more like Laurie Anderson, without the slick production. Spare, with a mostly spoken, ironic, semi-nonsense lyric that apparently plays on the double meaning of "junk." About half-way through, there's a shift in the narrator's point of view to a what may be a comment about the first part of the song by someone else, who is then portrayed, among other things, vomiting and calling for "more bowel!" I hope that sounds strange, because it is. It seems to be somewhere between tragedy and comedy, or rather, as with that other fence, both at once. The song is credited to "G. Elgar." Gary Elgar, nicknamed "Drifter," had been a close friend, companion, and musical influence for lang from college. If I have the chronology right, he was killed shortly before the song was recorded, and it would appear it was included here as a tribute and remembrance. It's actually an interesting, entertaining song in its own very peculiar way. You'll never find one like it on a traditional country album, though.
I think this album is much underrated. While the later country-ish albums are better known and more polished, and the lang country/Western ballad was perfected in some ways on the amazing Shadowlands, for what this album is, it would be hard to better it. Not only for fans of lang, any fan of new rockabilly/alt-country can find a treasure here."