“Constant Craving” by k.d. lang (1992)

Here’s a song I absolutely adore, but I don’t have much to say about it.

I can’t imagine many 15 year old black kids in New York actually knew who k.d. lang was before (or even after) “Constant Craving” hit the airwaves. As a certified record geek who made sure to park himself in front of the TV every year come Grammy time, I was familiar with her look, if not particularly interested in the country music she made prior to going (very classy) pop for Ingenue, the album “Constant Craving” hails from. k.d. might also be the first openly lesbian pop star I was aware of (I’m too lazy to do research, but she might be the first openly lesbian pop star period.) When I began to come out in ‘94-’95, it was pretty widely accepted among a part of my circle that k.d. was lesbian Lord and Savior. For an album that didn’t sell shit, it seemed like I knew at least five people who swore by the Even Cowgirls Get the Blues soundtrack. Same for All You Can Eat (which even I bought.)

ANYWAY, k.d. is a fucking incredible singer, whether she’s doing cabaret pop, country, or duetting on Donna Summer’s “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” with Erasure’s Andy Bell (more on that later). If you were to imagine an audio version of butter melting on top of a hot biscuit, it would be k.d. lang’s voice (it would also be Al Green’s voice and I’m flirting dangerously close with a grits joke I refuse to make.) “Constant Craving” is so sexy, fraught with desire and longing. It’s not really a torch song–I can’t figure from the lyrics whether k.d. is pining in unrequited fashion or has found someone who she’s so into that even a short time away feels like forever. Hence, the consta…well, you get it.

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