Quick Review: Watershed, kd lang

It is such:

kd lang’s voice: Continues to be a force of nature.

kd’s song selection: eh.

Which is a bit of a bummer, because I’ve been a huge fan of lang’s recent albums, dating back to Invincible Summer, not just because of her voice but because the songs (both original and covers). They’re not doing it for me this time ’round. Which is not the end of the world: such is lang’s voice that I would happily hear her sing a phone book. But just once. I enjoyed listening to Watershed just fine but am not particularly motivated to hear any of the songs here a second time. Well, there’s always the next album.

13 Comments on “Quick Review: Watershed, kd lang”

  1. Have you ever heard her live? Years back she played in a nearby small venue and the sound system went. Ben Mink urged her to continue and whoa. She does not need a mike or any amplification. She has a genuine voice — so strong, so clear blows you away. Absolute genuine talent, unlike so many others. I wish she’d really really focus and put out some better cds. She’s trying different things, which I can respect, but her last few have been disappointing. But I agree I’d listen to her sing the phone book or anything.

    Jeanne

  2. I definitely plan to see her live the next time she’s within a 150-mile radius.

    I actually thought the last few albums were great, particularly Hymns of the 49th Parallel, which I thought was a great combination of singer and songs (but I apparently like Canadian songwriters quite a bit, since several of my favorites are from there).

  3. “such is lang’s voice that I would happily hear her sing a phone book”

    You know, I’ve heard this sentiment about other singers. I wonder if any of them have ever taken up the challenge, and sung a phone book? (or at least an exerpt from one, maybe just the Smiths).

  4. If I had to run out of my apartment in a fire, her Shadowland would be one of the things I grabbed.

  5. Just saw her (again) last summer with Lyle Lovett. She is spectacular live.

    If you’re looking for a new disc from an old favorite that you can listen to again and again, I recommend the new Joe Jackson record, “Rain.” I’ve listened to it about a dozen times since I got it last week, and it keeps getting better.

    Yeah, I said ‘record.’ So, what?

  6. changterhune – Before you hear lies from Chang Terhune himself, we thought we’d tell you the truth: without us, his old action figures, he’d be nowhere. He loved science fiction from way back and began reading it at an early age, but it was through us that he acted it all out. That’s what led to the writing. He watched a lot of science fiction shows like Star Trek, U.F.O, and movies, too. But we were always there to do his bidding. And it’s like they say: you always forget about the little people on your way up. Oh, the 70’s and early 80’s with him were good times! He’d use these blocks and make all the crazy buildings for us to be in his stories. I gotta say the kid’s imagination was pretty damn fertile. Oh, he had friends, but they just weren’t into it like him. He was like the Lance Armstrong of action figures. And of science fiction. At first, when he began writing in the eighth grade, we didn’t mind. He still made time for us. And we knew that when he was holding us in his sweaty little hands and he got that far off look in his eye, he’d come back to burying us in the back yard or - god forbid! – blowing us up with firecrackers. But it was worth it for a part in one of those stories. We loved him for it. He kept us around even when we were minus a leg or two - or even a head. In that mind of his, he found a use for all of us. Then he discovered girls. October, 1986. It was like the end of the world. One day we’re standing in the middle of this building block creation he’d pretended was some marble city on a planet near Alpha Centauri and the next we were stuck in a box in the closet. Not even a “See ya later!” Nope, it was into the closet, then we heard some high-pitched girly-giggles then silence. We didn’t see him for years. We got word about him once in a while. Heard he took up writing, but it was crap like “The Breakfast Club” only with better music. We couldn’t believe it. Not Charlie. What happened to those aliens with heads he’d sculpted out of wax? Spaceships? Those complex plots? All gone. For what? You guessed it: Girls. Emotions. “Serious fiction.” I tell you, it was like hearing Elvis had left the building. During our two decade exile in the closet, we heard other things about him. He went to college. He wrote a lot, but not much he really liked. We knew it even then. It was like he didn’t dare write science fiction. Some of us had lost hope and just lay there. Others kept vigil, hoping for a day we didn’t dare speak about. Then we heard he’d stopped writing in 1996. Did he come to reclaim us? No. He took up music for ten years or so. He took up yoga. Once in a while, he’d visit us in the closet. But it was half-hearted. His mind was elsewhere. Then one day, he really did come back for us. One second we’re in the dark and the next thing we know we’re in a car headed for Massachusetts. Suddenly we got a whole shelf to ourselves out in broad daylight! Then he bought a bunch of others form some planet called Ebay. He’d just sit and stare at us with that old look. But why were we suddenly back in the picture? He had a wife now, who didn’t mind that he played with us. So what had happened? Turns out he’d never forgotten about those stories. He’d been thinking about all of us and the stories he’d made up and then remembered he’d been a writer once. From the shelf we could see him typing away. Before long he’s got a whole novel together! Then he’s working on another one. Word is there are two more in the planning stages! Some short stories, too! It’s good to see him using his imagination again. Its good to know he never abandoned us. He returned to his true love of science fiction. We hear the stories are pretty good. Someday we’ll get one of the cats to score us a copy of the manuscript. Man, it’s good to be out of the damn closet! --- I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me I'm smarter than you I'm harder than you I'm better than you I'm just raw I'm hotter than you More popular than you More clever than you And goshdarn it, people like me
    Chang in boots

    You know she’s gonna come down and kick your ass now, don’t you? She’s Canadian and from Calgary, so you’re in for it. I’d hide behind Krissy and whimper forgiveness.

    And I don’t care if you’ve taken on Ian Astbury. That short little troll couldn’t fill up one of her boots.

  7. All You Can Eat is my absolute favorite of hers. Her voice is simply gorgeous. I do like Hymns, and Invincible Summer as well. And as for Drag, I’d have to give it an…eh.

  8. I second the love for 49th Parallel. And I was lucky enough, too, to see her in concert about ten years ago, touring with Chris Isaak. During one of her incredible songs, she held a long note, took a breath before going into the big finish, and a woman in the audience shrieked into the silence, “I love you kd!!!” She cocked an eyebrow and said, with an Elvis-y chuckle, “Cain’t blame you for that, girl.” Biggest laugh/cheer I ever heard from a concert crowd.

  9. I look forward to whatever development may occur that forces her to capitalize her name…. especially when/if the record company does it without thought, and she lacks the clout to force them to switch it back.

  10. Not only does KD have a genuine voice, she knows how to charm her fans in live performances. Heck, when I was dating my partner I tried to channel KD in order to flirt effectively. And I played “The Consequences of Falling” and other romantic KD songs to her.

    She’s my partner now so it worked, eh? Thanks KD!

  11. My fav KD Langs cds are her swing/alt country ones. Her voice is amazing and her version of “Black Coffee” is powerful enough to make be consider switching from tea. But like you the new album doesn’t move me in the way that others have. I’ll keep listening of course.
    Anon

  12. Among k.d.lang’s other amazing virtues, if you can’t score with “Ingenue” on in the background, you’re simply hopeless.

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