k d lang (Warner Brothers)
'We're all going on a summer holiday . . .' k d lang doesn't sing on Invincible Summer. But if she did, the sentiment would fit right in with the dreamy, sunny ambience of a CD that floats away on the clouds as soon as it leaves the box.
Levity in lang's design may be unusual, but here it's deliberate: the whole record is built on surf and sunshine, and any evocation of summer that puts you right there on the sand has to be a winner. But those foundations are nothing if not shifting, and things aren't as simple as they seem: lang hasn't suddenly abandoned her brains to write mindless pop, and the album title comes from an Albert Camus quotation. She also retains enough depth in her lyrics to keep up with Suzanne Vega: after all, she's a sensitive, considered, mature songwriter.
So, two approaches are suggested: first, lie on the beach, drink too many cocktails, get semi-comatose and warble along. Second, ponder the learned lyrics first, then lie on the beach, drink too many cocktails, get semi-comatose and warble along. Either way, enjoy.