Album review: k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang's 'Sing It Loud'
The big, beautiful voice of k.d. lang swoops, purrs and soars through the 10 songs on “Sing It Loud” like an overgrown Labrador that has slipped its leash to run loose through the park on a gorgeous spring weekend. Playing with a band of her own (an alt-country collective dubbed the Siss Boom Bang) for the first time in a couple decades, Canada’s sometimes strings-besotted crooner has found her guitar groove again.
On opening track “I Confess,” she’s an over-the-top romantic, riding the octaves with a Roy Orbison sense of drama. The cow-punk crooner revels in joy and desire in “Sugar Buzz” and “Sing It Loud,” songs saturated with sliding guitars and oozing organs. “You can always give your burdens to the music,’’ lang sings on the title track. She gets mellow and reflective on the homesick “Inglewood,” but by the album’s end, she’s declaring “Sorrow Nevermore.” Before that goodbye, she nails the irony-drenched Talking Heads song “Heaven.”
Nashville songwriter Joe Pisapia coproduced and cowrote most of the album with lang. Sounding rather like the Band and Wilco, he and Siss Bang Boom back lang with a delightfully ramshackle playfulness. They leave lots of space to let her voice be the star, but never so much that she’s the diva. The give and play of emotion is like a game of tug of war; the rope breaks, and everyone winds up in a laughing pile of limbs and bodies.
k.d. lang and the Siss Boom Bang
“Sing It Loud”
Three and a half stars (Out of four)
— Evelyn McDonnell