by Jewly Hight
Much has been made of what a poor fit k.d. lang and Nashville were for each other in the 1980s. But that’s ancient history. In the decades since, lang has applied her formidable vocal gifts to singing anything she likes, from sophisticatedly modern vocal pop to string-swathed torch songs to alt-pop confessions. She returned to Nashville on her own terms to make her latest album Sing It Loud (which even boasts a song that may well be about the East Side’s Inglewood neighborhood) with Guster’s Joe Pisapia as co-writer and co-producer and a band dubbed the Siss Boom Bang, featuring other locals like Lex Price on bass and Fred Eltringham on drums.
Sure, there’s a country sensibility to the tracks. But it’s sensual, steeped in rock textures from Roy Orbison’s era to the present — and as always, miles away from what’s happening on Music Row. Having a bona fide band behind her — something she hasn’t had in a good long while — makes a difference, grounding the music in an earthy immediacy.