- Audio CD (Feb. 5 2008)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Label: Warner Music
- ASIN: B000XUO6T8
- In-Print Editions: Audio CD
- Average Customer Review: 7 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #32,978 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
|Price:||CDN$ 14.86 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 35. Details|
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|1. I Dream of Spring|
|2. Je fais la planche|
|3. Coming Home|
|4. Once in a While|
|6. Close Your Eyes|
|8. Flame of the Uninspired|
|10. Shadow and the Frame|
|11. Jealous Dog|
In her first quarter-century in the music business, Canadian k.d. lang has gone from straight-up country artist to iconic pop songstress, with many side-steps into pop, jazz, and show tunes along the way. An eight-year break since her last record of originals (2000s Invincible Summer) has re-channeled and recharged both the songwriter and that brightly toned voice that lies within. In assembling this intimate 11-song album, which features many of her enduring collaborators but is defined by her powerhouse vocals, lang drew inspiration from all her favorite musical styles. The bass- and string-driven Coming Home and I Dream of Spring--a Spanish-style pop dream accented with Greg Leiszs signature steel guitar--are easy picks for Constant Craving-like success, yet Watersheds magnetism is captured in the expansion of langs songwriting palette: the hushed jazz of Flame of the Uninspired," the Brazilian jolts of Upstream, and the absolute rawness of Jealous Dog, which strips away any studio veneer, leaving that voice as pure and bewitching as ever. --Scott Holter
Top Customer Reviews
For a while, Lang wasn't writing songs anywhere.
In the intervening years, she has recorded cover versions and duets, but nothing has emerged from her own pen.
Fans who were constantly craving another album like "Ingenue" wondered if she had lost the knack.
Writer's block was the problem, apparently. And the catalyst behind the unleashing of Watershed's sequence of love songs was that the Canadian singer/songwriter has found happiness with her new love.
"I wondered that myself," she says. "I think that when I start out on any new record".
But now "Watershed" is finished, ready and immaculately delivered.
So why the lengthy wait? "I got writer's block. There were a number of contributory factors. One was 9/11, which turned the atmosphere in America - politically, emotionally and artistically - on its ear. Afterwards I couldn't write love songs. They just seemed so frivolous".
It features eleven new songs written and recorded in 2007 for Nonesuch label, and is also the first self-produced collection of her 25-year career.
It doesn't disappoint. But, please, don't rush ! Don't expect to be hooked at the first listening.
Should you wish to spend some time letting these songs get under your skin, then they will slowly reveal their charms - and occasionally, as on the breathily magnificent "Shadow and the Frame", match lang's former glories.
Lyrically, she's not a very interesting songwriter, but then words aren't really her thing.
kd lang's voice is a remarkable instrument, and it's for its instrumental qualities that she writes her long, languorous melodies framed in elaborately simple arrangements, leading to the creation of an intensely moody mood.
It's pretty exquisite stuff - the string charts are just lovely - and stands as a (self-produced) summary of the genres she's dabbled in. Samba, country and jazz are referenced with a sophisticated passing wink, but no more.
This beautiful CD sees her re-embracing the gorgeous balladry of "Ingenue", infusing everything with a gentle country twang in the process.
"I Dream of Spring", "Once in a While" and "Sunday" are magisterial, showcasing that knife-through-butter voice.
"Flame of the Uninspired", is full of unsentimental regret, and the growly "Jealous Dog" recalls a female Johnny Cash.
Sounding more than ever like a velvet-voiced Patsy Cline, Lang is on near-perfect form on this astonishing album:lang always appears perfectly matched to her material, so convincing is her interpretation of everything she touches.
There is huge pleasure to be had from the rich, sensual power of her voice.
Twentyfive years on, k.d. lang, now 46, can still evoke the sting of adolescent infatuation.
But now here comes "Watershed". It's a deeply lush and beautiful collection of ballads, much like 'Ingenue' was, minus the unrequited love part. k.d. has looked inwards again, as deeply as she did on 'Ingenue' and she's coming clean about love, her relationship, and life, of course. She's learned a lot. She has matured. It still has that ol' country sound kicking around in songs like 'I Dream of Spring', 'Coming Home', and 'Jealous Dog'. 'Close your Eyes' comes across to me as a deeply spiritual song, but there's something so exquisitely sexy about k.d. crooning in my ears to close my eyes. This woman makes me swoon. 'Once in a While' talks about how we drive our lovers crazy 'once in a while', but we also strive to make them happy and smile, right? 'Thread' is a catchy tune with highly confessional lyrics about losing out on someone, perhaps? 'Je Fais la Planche', is a deliciously slow, crooner of an existential trip. k.d. has apparently eaten some crow and confessed to it, in "Flame of the Uninspired". Beautiful, rich, song. I hope it's released as a single, as it could be 'Constant Craving' part II. 'Sunday' took a while to grow on me, but it has this awesome throbbing bass line, as k.d. refers her favourite day of the week to be lazy and lounge around. 'Upstream' is light-hearted and warm and cheeky. 'Shadow and the Frame' reminds me of 'Tears of Love's Recall' in it's quiet, illusive power.
I'm so glad it took k.d. this long to write this album. It has been well worth the wait! We have been richly rewarded with a talent that blesses us whenever k.d. takes pen to paper and writes a song. I don't mind waiting many years if k.d. keeps producing such stunning work. You've got to give it a listen. It creeps up on you slowly, and then drenches you with exquisite melodies, lyrics, honesty, and That Voice. Just buy it already.
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