Personnel: k.d. lang (vocals); Ben Mink (acoustic guitar, electric guitar, fiddle); Ralph Morrison III, Sara Parkins, David Stenske, Tiffiany Yi Hu (violin); Brian Dembow, Cynthia Fogg (viola); Larry Corbett, Stephen Erdody, Armen Ksadjikian, Cecilia Tsan (cello); Teddy Borowiecki (accordion, piano, keyboards); David Piltch (acoustic bass guitar, bass guitar); Clayton Cameron (drums).
After tackling almost every conceivable musical style from country to disco to standards, K.D. Lang goes back to her roots with HYMNS OF THE 49TH PARALLEL, covering songs by the greatest songwriters of her Canadian homeland. It should surprise no one to find Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, and Leonard Cohen among the composers whose work is honored here. Lang tackles two songs each by these titanic artists, lending her agile, velvety voice and deceptively easy grace to each, accompanied by a small, acoustic-based combo dominated by piano.
Ron Sexsmith, Bruce Cockburn, and Jane Siberry might not be household names on the order of the aforementioned trio, but they're entirely worthy of the passion with which Lang approaches their tunes here, a particular point of transcendence being achieved on Cockburn's gentle, folkish "One Day I Walk." "But wait," you cry, "what about Gordon Lightfoot, Ian Tyson, and the McGarrigle Sisters?" Don't worry; with a talent like Lang's, it's entirely reasonable to assume she'll be on the scene long enough to get around to 49TH PARALLEL PT. II.
Mojo (Publisher) (p.102) - 4 stars out of 5 - "She is most compelling with understatement, as on the low-key jazz-inflected version of 'Jericho,'....Here Lang brings her own passion to the song, while retaining its tender essence."
KD Langs Hymns are soul lifting master pieces. This CD lifts the spirit. It is an emotional master piece and each song is a gift to listen to. There is not one song on 49th Parallel that can be skipped. Excellent CD - if you love Lang, you will not be dissapointed.
A music tribute to your homeland's best vocal talents? well that's what KD has offered us here.
A great album, if you don't mind a bit of KD, or the originals from Joni Mitchell to Leonard Cohen then this album may be hard to pass up.
Any version of Cohen's Hallelujah is okay by me and KD's version is no exception.
Due yourself a favour and buy this album.
This is one of my favourite CDs and I would buy it for her version of Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah alone. The rest of the CD is fabulous too and really showcases the best of Canada's songwriters. Very mellow.
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