Kathryn Dawn Lang, or k.d. lang, is one of the finest vocalists of our time. A modest commercial presence, lang’s “quality over quantity” emphasis has given her longevity and a strong cult following for three decades.
Lang has made a discography rife with treasures and recollection gathers majority of them from Sire/Warner Brothers Records, her former label. Her first retrospective, Reintarnation (2006), encapsulated her ‘80’s origins as a neo-Patsy Cline styled singer. recollection focuses on “The Torch Years" that began in 1992, though several of her country chestnuts are nonetheless featured.
Albums like Ingénue (1992) All You Can Eat (1996), Drag (1997), Invincible Summer (2000), A Wonderful World (2002), Hymns of the 49th Parallel (2004), and the latest, Watershed (2008) all aided in the creation of recollection. An offering of singles, album tracks, unreleased and soundtrack works are blended. The initial introduction of a fresh listener to lang's staple “Constant Craving" will attest that the accordion splashed seducer hasn't lost its touch.
recollection's lesser known numbers ("Summerfling," "You’re O.k.") portrait lang's arresting perspective on love as a songwriter. Renditions of Joni Mitchell’s “Help Me,” Phil Everly’s “The Air That I Breathe,” and the recently performed Leonard Cohen stunner “Hallelujah,” are windows to lang as an expressive reader of classics. Her gift of pouring her voice into established song vessels like these is breathtaking and they are all included here.
recollection is the most comprehensive collection of k.d. lang's work to date and is available in three formats. The Starbucks only version entitled Beautifully Combined, after the unreleased track appearing on the CD, is a single disc release, recollection can be purchased as a two or three disc set with a DVD. Despite a few criminal omissions (“The Consequences of Falling”) recollection, in its various formats, has plenty of this talented woman's work to sate any appetite.-QH
[Editor's Note: Article also appears in Wednesday, March 24th-Tuesday, March 30th 2010 issue of the Dayton City Paper.-QH]