audiotrack Absolute Torch and Twang

reviewed by Jill Hill

Published in Issue No. 23 ~ April, 1999

This is tough one. I struggled between kd lang’s Shadowland and Absolute Torch and Twang. Torch and Twang won out. All the critical hype that surrounded this CD was earned. Listening to her voice with its range and control makes you think what a sad thing it is to have to endure Mariah Carey (Oscars) and Shania Twain (Grammys). While I have not been impressed with her last two efforts (Drag, which is very similar to Shadowland, but without the fever, and All You Can Eat), that is all the more reason to return to Torch and Twang. Time has not diminished the impact of its songs. The love ballads are tough but tender love, such as: “trail of broken hearts.”

trail of broken hearts
looking back at you
now and from the start
these words will travel true

The spare lyrics let lang use her voice to swell beyond the words and touch the pain of a broken heart. Along with the love serious ballads, “full moon full of love,” and “pullin’ back the reins” there are the lighter “its me,” “big boned ga,” “luck in my eyes,” and “big big love.” Each song on Torch and Twang projects near prefect musical mastery.

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Jill Hill lives with some kids, some dogs, writes, and manages a restaurant where she tries out her new CD's. She listens to a variety of music, from Classical to Blues, but tries to stay away from most rap. In her words: "I am always on the look out for a new band or singer/songwriter that I will like. I like a CD that does not grow old and weary sounding, which mean I don't want buy a CD that can be found on the used CD sale table a month later. One of my favorite CD's is Neal Young's Everyone Knows this is Nowhere. My favorite writer is Gabriel Garcia Marquez, and my favorite novel of his Of Love and Other Demons. X-Files is about the only TV I watch. I do not watch sitcoms and do not like music inspired by sitcoms. I'd rather listen to a sampled rap version of the Jetsons theme song."