Just a music plug.
I’m not a huge fan of k.d. Lang, but like most people I’m a great admirer of her voice. A great deal of my Lang agnosticism is her choice of material which I find a bit…mannered. But I have to admit that her latest Hymns of the 49th Parallel is brilliant. Choosing from among Canada’s best songwriters she creates beautiful, if sometimes a bit reverent, covers of songs from Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen, Jane Siberry, Ron Sexsmith, and Bruce Cockburn. The highlights include Cohen’s Hallelujah (which is quite moving) and Siberry’s Love Is Everything in which she actually sounds like she really means it. Some of the selections are fairly obvious (Helpless, Bird On A Wire) and as much as I liked her version of A Case of You, which I think is one of the ten greatest songs ever written, I still prefer Diana Krall’s version (that should stir up some emails). I would have prefered she had covered either Mitchell’s Amelia or The Last Time I Saw Richard but, as usual, nobody asked me.
I’m a sucker for cover CD’s (as opposed to “tribute CD’s which generally blow) and this new one from Lang is probably the best to come along since Nancy Griffith’s Other Voices, Other Rooms which is the standard against which all cover CD’s must be judged. And the best news of all is that the CD contains nothing from Alanis Morissette or Bryan Adams.
That says a lot about it right there.
Note: When the hell are they going to put out a Joni Mitchell boxset? I mean, crap, you can get a Stevie Nicks boxset fer crying out loud. Then again, she is like a cat in the dark
and then she is the darkness….