k.d. lang

1992: Sire Records 26840-2

  1. Save Me
  2. The Mind of Love
  3. Miss Chatelaine
  4. Wash Me Clean
  5. So It Shall Be
  6. Still Thrives This Love
  7. Season of Hollow Soul
  8. Outside Myself
  9. Tears of Love’s Recall
  10. Constant Craving

This is an album that I actually like to hear that other people love, because when I play it for myself I feel almost guilty about having all that sensuosity and intimacy all to myself. From the first arpeggio of guitar notes as we begin the slow, surging dive into “Save Me,” up until the end of “Tears of Love’s Recall,” it’s just an amazingly sustained-yet-unrushed roller-coaster through countless layers of rich emotion and sensation—here lush with color, there almost bleak with austerity. Aside from “Miss Chatelaine,” of course, which is pure indulgent fluff. But, as soundscapes go, I’m particularly enamored of the core (and especially the outro) of “Outside Myself,” which restlessly revisits its uncertainties without resolution as the horizon fades from thought.

And as for the lyrics, it’s a feast, albeit one at which you just want to take a morsel at a time because any more will glut you in no time. Each song is like a fabric of a different texture from the last one, or a different shade, all of them somehow being related yet distinct. And a great, enigmatic line like “The tears of love’s recall / Like blood to chocolate fall” can immobilize me.

I suppose the loping pace of “Save Me” acts as a helpful transition for those who expected k.d. to continue in the Country milieu; it certainly serves to do so for me, although her hypnotically beautiful voice should be enough of a selling point on its own.