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Bentley's Bandstand: k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang, Sing It Loud

Posted By Karen Young On April 14, 2011 @ 1:29 am In Arts & Culture,Music,spotlight | 1 Comment


k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang, Sing It Loud, Nonesuch Records

When it comes to singers who walk their own road, listen to the sounds in the wind to pull down and inspire their songs and then, even when it doesn’t seem possible, come up with a new world to live in, put k.d. lang at the very top of that list. And it’s been that way from the start.

In the beginning, lang was channeling the spirit of Patsy Cline, and even named her band the Reclines. Coming from the prairies of Canada, she had an unfettered enthusiasm in everything she did, clearly not confined by any musical considerations other than her own. With a voice that could melt rocks, the woman was like a sonic commando who took no prisoners, rushing towards the music with wild-eyed wonder and cathartic love.

As the world turned so did k.d. lang. She deepened, going into the soul like a inspiring sonic probe. The singer could hit notes no one knew existed, and depending on what context she was working in, leave listeners slack-jawed at her strength. Watch her duet with Roy Orbison of “Crying” at Radio City Music Hall and then try to walk a straight line across the room. It cannot be done. The legs wobble and the heart pounds. There is a level of emotion in that one performance most people don’t get within miles of their whole life. Really.

Sing It Loud is yet another redefinition of what lang can do. It is by turns gorgeous, seductive, questioning and mysterious. Her new band, Siss Boom Bang, approaches the music with totally fresh ears, bound by no conventions and ready to ride to the rescue whenever called. They can fill the songs with pushy sounds, blend into the ozone with uncanny charm and make a cushy bed for lang’s vocals to lay in. The group has the goods. Luckily, these are some of k.d. lang’s very best originals to get adventurous with, too. “The Water’s Edge,” “Sugar Buzz,” “Habit of Mind” and “Sorrow Nevermore” will hopefully be sung by her for many years, right next to “Constant Craving” and the other classics she’s created. lang sounds like she’s in love: with the sky, trees, mountains, freeways and most likely another warm heart. So say it loud: k.d. lang is ready for action and destined, as always, for adventure. And she’s smiling.

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