It's no coincidence that the first new k.d. lang album in three years came the week that summer started.
Few albums have been so sun-drenched and summer-soaked as her bright new album. A move from her Western Canadian hinterlands to the California shoreline has imbued her outlook and aim.
And it's given one of pop's best singers an unusually strong focus for a set of songs that are a perfect complement for the warm season.
"Invincible Summer" (Warner Bros. Records) (its title is from a line by Camus) is, like the 1992 "Ingenue," an album solely about romance but slightly less obsessive.
With light strings in frequently zippy arrangement, there's a throwback quality to the pop, but never one that wallows in kitsch.
Co-producer Damian LeGassick, a cohort of William Orbit, infuses the songs with just the right tonal qualities. They serve the songs well but never take away from the quality.
"The Consequences of Falling" opens the set stylishly and alluringly. "Summerfling" moves to the heart of the scenario: "The smell of Sunday in our hair/You ran on the beach with Kennedy flair."
The beach, her inspiration for a lot of the songs, takes on metaphorical significance in "Love's Great Ocean," a ballad co-written with her old musical partner Ben Mink.
More than a couple of songs should boost lang back to grown-up pop radio, if there is such a thing anymore. Everyone else should pop a copy into the car stereo, grab a towel and head to the shore.