Consumer Guide Reviews:Shadowland [Sire, 1988]
Whether claiming Nashville for torch song, joining Tracy Chapman's New Dignity movement, or embalming country the way title-tunesmith Chris Isaak embalms rockabilly, Lang resembles Patsy Cline (or whomever) less than the Pet Shop Boys--impossible to suss out her relationship to music she presumably loves. B
Ingénue [Sire/Warner Bros., 1992]
Even Cowgirls Get the Blues [Sire/Warner Bros., 1993]
Lifted by Love [Sire/Warner Bros., 1994]
All You Can Eat [Warner Bros., 1995]
Invincible Summer [Warner Bros., 2000]
Subjects for Further Research [1990s]: As an out lesbian singing putative country music she galvanized an audience ready to take her seriously--mostly gay, but including me. Conceiving pop as jazz à la Lyle Lovett rather than schlock à la Garth Brooks, she piled on the cred. And she definitely has a voice--calm yet bereft, cool yet kind. But how you respond to a voice is always deeply idiosyncratic, and Lang's continued cult status suggests that not getting hers is nothing to feel guilty about. Or maybe it's just that in a decade when technically accomplished singing made a major pop comeback--which it did, I ambivalently insist, despite what rap-haters feared--good singers writing mediocre songs got more play than they deserved. I listened hard to every one of her albums and stuck every one in my Neither file. Her claque cheers loudest for 1992's Ingénue.