By Alanna Nash
Updated October 29, 1993 at 04:00 AM EDT

On first listening, k.d. lang’s soundtrack to Gus Van Sant’sadaptation of the Tom Robbins cult novel sounds like ”Even CowgirlsGet the Blahs.” Of the 16 cuts on EVEN COWGIRLS GET THE BLUES(Sire/Warner Bros.), only half feature vocals, and onlyfour-including ”Don’t Be a Lemming Polka,” left over from lang’sAngel With a Lariat era-aspire to full-length songs. Worse, theremaining three tracks seem puffed from the same bubblemachine that produced last year’s Ingenue, lang’s torchy forayinto Lawrence Welk Land.But on repeated plays, lang’s highly eccentric effort-cowrittenand performed with longtime collaborator Ben Mink-provesfascinatingly eclectic. The big ballad is the dreamy ”Hush SweetLover,” an erotic cascade of gliding notes in which lang’s voice dipsand shimmers like a waterfall of desire. However, much of the fillermaterial sails more surreal musical seas, as the duo mixes a standardmelodramatic Hollywood format with glimmers of jazz, disco, country,bluegrass, and a remarkable fusion of Indian and Western music:”Apogee” and ”Virtual Vortex” meld into one another, creating a sort

of Buffy Sainte-Marie-meets-Ravi Shankar sound. It’s not exactlycowboy logic, but then neither is the book. And who knows, cowgirlyoga might catch on yet. B