Sensual, seductive, and above all smoky, the latest from k.d. lang is a collection of a dozen tunes that all have some connection to smoking--usually in the romantic, post-coital sense--done up in a lush, orchestrated fash... more »ion. Some of these tunes are standards, such as "Smoke Dreams" and "My Last Cigarette," while others are just plain strange selections given some of the oddest readings imaginable. Case in point: the cover of Steve Miller's "The Joker." lang's voice is an incredible instrument, and it's a treat to hear her vamping. But you have to wonder what she's up to, especially because she seems to just say no to tobacco herself, --Jim Derogatis« less
Sensual, seductive, and above all smoky, the latest from k.d. lang is a collection of a dozen tunes that all have some connection to smoking--usually in the romantic, post-coital sense--done up in a lush, orchestrated fashion. Some of these tunes are standards, such as "Smoke Dreams" and "My Last Cigarette," while others are just plain strange selections given some of the oddest readings imaginable. Case in point: the cover of Steve Miller's "The Joker." lang's voice is an incredible instrument, and it's a treat to hear her vamping. But you have to wonder what she's up to, especially because she seems to just say no to tobacco herself, --Jim Derogatis
Sonoko F. from MONTCLAIR, NJ Reviewed on 5/12/2007...
all about smoking! k.d. wraps that fabulous voice around an interesting assortment of tunes, all related to smoking in some way. she can even make the theme to Valley of the Dolls sound classy. fans of tony bennett & sinatra will like this one.
Michael L. (Popmeister) from READING, PA Reviewed on 1/17/2007...
this is a great concept album - all songs about smoking!
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Lang's concept album is anything but a "Drag"
John Jones | Chicago IL | 01/15/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"First she was a Nashville misfit, then a would-be pop diva. But for 1997's "Drag," kd lang took elements from each of her previous incarnations and fused them with elements of jazz and lounge for an ultra-sophisticated torch concept album. Loosely linking songs that either center on or make reference to smoking (not to mention the double entendre depicted in the album's photographs, coupled with the fact that a good number of these songs are commonly associated with male vocalists), lang's selection in material has never been sharper, as not one of the dozen songs onhand sound as if they weren't written specifically for her voice and stylings.The lyrical ties may be a bit of a stretch at times, but the music throughout the project is firmly knotted together. One hardly has to read the production credits; a sampling of the left-of-center jazz and country blend leaves little doubt that anyone other than Craig Street, oddball extraordinare behind Cassandra Wilson's "New Moon Daughter" and Holly Cole's "Temptation," was at the helm. Street's presence explains -at least in part- the surprisingly highbrow arrangements of Steve Miller's "The Joker" and The Hollies' "The Air That I Breathe"; famous for turning novelty pop songs into mature music for adults, Craig's sensibilities in this sense have never been stronger. He also apparently had a field day with lang's love of Roy Orbison and Julie London, as Orbison's "Till the Heart Caves In" is given a rendition nothing short of immaculately beautiful, and the vibraphone and organ on "Smoke Dreams" are more than a little reminiscent of later-year recordings of Julie's.But lang is no one's carbon copy, as the country-tinged "My Last Cigarette" and the Hawaiian-flavored "Smoke Rings" will prove beyond a doubt...when's the last time you heard music like this that wasn't on a reissue? Even an oft-covered standard like "Don't Smoke in Bed" can get a tailor-made alteration: lang starts it off as a classic torch, but a surprise bridge, with tremelo guitar and ethereal vocals, makes it something her very own. If you're still not a believer, behold the ease with which she takes the theme from the ultimate camp film ("Valley of the Dolls") and morphs it into a mature and classy affair."Hain't it Funny" is the lone exception; whether it's the lowkey jazz arrangement or the lazy vocal, you'd almost swear lang intentionally took a page from Holly Cole's book (and that's no complaint). But for a strong dose of the charm, warmth, and emotional accessibility that makes lang such an irresistible vocalist, look no further than the gorgeously understated "My Old Addiction," a deceivingly simple song that, at first listen, seems to stays on one emotional plane. It isn't until the six-and-a-half minute listen is over, however, that you realize lang wove in and out of subtle inflections, both technically and emotionally. The hindsight revelation makes it all the more impressive and the listener is all the more anxious to repeat the experience. Come to think of it, you may well reach the same conclusion at the close of this moving, entrancing, and ultimately beautiful record."
The best sizzle and smoke since the Divine Miss M
Thomas Lapins | Orlando, Florida USA | 10/16/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before "Drag" the only music I had heard by kd was the duet she did with Roy Orbison "Crying", which ranks as one of the best pop duets. "Drag" had some interesting selections so I purchased it on a whim. "Don't Smoke In Bed" could only be equaled by Midler's sizzle and sarcasm. You can almost feel the burn baby burn as she's walking out of the bedroom. Carly Simon did this same song on her "Film Noir" Cd but kd's version takes the prize. "The Air That I Breathe" was one of the songs I wanted to hear (I thought if she did half as well on this one as she did on "Crying" it would be worth the Cd). This song was made for infinite interpretations, and kd's is by far the one I like best. You feel a sensuous humanity in her voice and the lyrics. Albert Hammond remains one of the great underated writers of pop music, and his music really shines here. "Smoke Dreams" takes you into some smokey nightclub with smoke rings spiraling upward and everywhere. "My Last Cigarette" a perfect blend of country (not my favorite) and pop music. This one sneaks up on you. "The Joker" a very personal and suggestive piece. Read between the lines and enjoy. "The Valley Of The Dolls" is the big triumph on this Cd. The thoughtful lyrics and wind-swept melody sweeps you away. My favorite version of this song. "Your Smoke Screen" a quiet piece that holds its own. "My Old Addiction" great cello and piano intro. Again, this is the type and quality of music that made Bette Midler famous. This one reminds me of Midler's "Am I Blue". Same subtle intensity and message. "Till My Heart Caves In" is one of a handful of country type songs that really works for me. You can feel the earth slip from beneath you as she slowly brings your heart into this twangy crescendo until you can only give in to its irrisistable tug and pull. "Smoke Rings" is a little more country than I like but is well done and is ripe for some nightclub act. "Hain't It Funny" probably her most steamy and honest song on this Cd. Fantastic! "Love Is Like A Cigarette" a perfect song to end this perfect Cd. I suppose you could live without this Cd, but why? Press on the order button immediately!"
K.d. lang is a goddess
Kristen A. Criado | Franklin, PA USA | 12/27/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"k.d.lang has a voice that just soars and is able to wrap itself around a song. I would call her a modern day Karen Carpenter. The depth of emotion in her singing and the songs on this album just show off that range. The theme of "drag" is carried throughout the album in the smokey sound of her voice and the literally smokey/airy titles of the songs. "The Air That I Breathe" is a perfect example of the floating vocals making a perfectly perfect ethereal atmosphere. This is an amazing album of songs sung by an amazing voice of our time. Haunting and moving. A definite must for any music lover and an absolute must for a k.d. fan."
This album is far from a "drag."
The Groove | Boston, MA | 06/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I love this woman! Why she's not a multiplatinum seller is beyond me, but I can't think of a more underrated pop singer than kd Lang. This album is a nice collection of covers, mostly from the old school. Lang's voice is like a brush of velvet: smooth and luxurious. The musical arrangements are flawless. My two cuts of choice are "Don't Smoke in Bed" and "The Air That I Breathe," which Simply Red would later butcher. If you lost interest in Lang after "Ingenue," then this is the disc to pick up."
Dewayne Brown | 12/15/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"K.D.Lang is to date, the single most talented female vocalist I've ever heard.Her music is unlike any other female artist who is known for there style or singing ability. trust me, I've listened to the greats over the years to the likes of :Ella F. Sara V. Rosemary C. Anita B. All are good, but you could cluster them together and get the same sound. K.D.Lang's uniqueness sets her apart from the rest, she's the embodyment of the so called "songstress" and makes her own sound, her own!"