Picks and Pans Review: Ingenue
If we're going to get all français about it, ennuyeuse ("boring") might be more apt. This album, a monument to affectation in many ways (mostly lang's histrionic attempts to wring some emotion out of pallid lyrics and melodies), is ultimately undone by the relentlessly uninteresting set of 10 songs chosen by lang and her coproducers, Ben Mink and Greg Penny.
It's not just the incessant "la la las" of "Season of Hollow Soul." The lang-Mink tune, "The Mind of Love," after struggling past the opening lines, "Talking to myself/ Causing great concern for my health," bogs down in seven repetitions of "Where is your head, Kathryn?" (Kathryn being lang's first name). Mink, lang and Penny committed all the composing on the album, and it's all in the same collapsed vein—"Wash Me Clean" begins, "You swim/ Swim through my veins/ Drown me/ in your reign."
The musical setting for all the misbegotten lyrics tends to suggest justifiably forgotten '60s folky styles, with plinky guitars and quaint accordion fills giving lang little to lean on.
But then the massed Modern Jazz Quartet, New York Philharmonic and R.E.M. couldn't have propped up such tracks as the sing-songy "Miss Chatelaine": "Every time your eyes meet mine/ Clouds of qualm/ burst into sunshine."
Next time Ben and Greg come by peddling song ideas, k.d. bar the door. (Sire/Warner Bros.)