Hymns of the 49th Parallel

Hymns of the 49th Parallel

by k.d. langk.d. lang

CD

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Overview

Blessed with one of the most beautiful voices in contemporary pop music -- is there really any competition? -- k. d. lang can turn any song into an emotional tour de force. Throughout her career, she's mixed collections of her own compositions with songbook-style albums of interpretations, from her forays into countrypolitan on 1988's Shadowland through 2002's collaboration with Tony Bennett on Louis Armstrong–affiliated standards. On Hymns of the 49th Parallel, lang mines her native Canada for source material and comes up with a stunning set of understated ballads. Opening with Neil Young's "After the Gold Rush," lang mixes establish masters such as Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen with younger upstarts like Ron Sexsmith, Bruce Cockburn, and Jane Siberry. Wisely, she lets her voice take center stage while still being a model of restraint; most arrangements build on a singular piano or acoustic guitar line bolstered by soft background strings and a delicate rhythm section, and there's none of the bombast here that lang occasionally indulges in. As a point of contrast, she reprises her own "Simple" from Invincible Summer and improves on the original by simplifying it even more, slowing it down and expanding its range of emotions. Whether the song is very familiar (Mitchell's "A Case of You," Cohen's "Bird on a Wire") or less so (Siberry's "Love Is Everything," Sexsmith's "Fallen") lang treats it with aching sensitivity.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/27/2004
Label: Nonesuch
UPC: 0075597984729
catalogNumber: 79847
Rank: 1589

Tracks

  1. After the Gold Rush
  2. Simple
  3. Helpless
  4. A Case of You
  5. The Valley
  6. Hallelujah
  7. One Day I Walk
  8. Fallen
  9. Jericho
  10. Bird on a Wire
  11. Love Is Everything

Album Credits

Performance Credits

k.d. lang   Primary Artist,Vocals
Deodato   Conductor
Teddy Borowiecki   Piano,Accordion,Keyboards
Clayton Cameron   Drums
Larry Corbett   Cello
Brian Dembow   Viola
Stephen Erdody   Cello
Armen Ksadjikian   Cello
Ben Mink   Acoustic Guitar,Fiddle,Electric Guitar
David Piltch   Electric Bass,Bass Guitar,Acoustic Bass
David Stenske   Violin
Cecilia Tsan   Cello
Tiffiany Yi Hu   Violin
Cynthia Fogg   Viola
Ralph Morrison   Violin,Concert Master
Sarah Parkins   Violin

Technical Credits

Leonard Cohen   Composer
Jane Siberry   Composer
Bruce Cockburn   Composer
Joni Mitchell   Composer
Neil Young   Composer
Deodato   String Arrangements
k.d. lang   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
David Leonard   Engineer
Ben Mink   Producer,Audio Production
David Piltch   Composer
Ron Sexsmith   Composer
Andy Goldsworthy   Cover Photo

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