Monday, April 21, 2008

Musical Monday - Watershed

Music is big part of my life, I really wish it would be even bigger. I guess that I really miss working in radio, where I was constantly asked for my musical opinion. Unfortunately the job I have now doesn't afford me many options for being around music. Once in a while I think I'll use the blog to share the music I'm discovering. Sort of a "What's in your CD player" thing.

Right now I'm listening to k.d. lang's newest effort, Watershed. I think it's her first offering of new music for at least seven years. I bought it last week while giggling that soon I would buy some concert tickets... YEA k.d.!!

This is the first new music I've heard from k.d. which beckons back to her country roots. The occasional twang pops in to remind you that she started out performing a kind of strange country/folk/rock/show tune fusion. There are some songs that have the "torch song" feel of Ingénue, but the general feel of the music and lyrics is overall contentment.

The liner notes let me know that she produced this herself. Normally I don't check these kinds of things, but after my first listen through the entire CD I was curious to see who had done this horrible disservice to one of my favorite singers. Imagine my horror when I realized that she did it to herself. I personally believe that this was a mistake even if I understand the most likely reason why she did it.

I'll assume that she wanted to have her voice be more on the level of the instruments instead of the way she's been produced in the past... as though she and her voice were the most important part. Hey k.d. ... your voice IS the most important part. Dropping its importance back to the level of the other musicians is selling yourself short. I'm also missing the more powerful displays of her voice. It seems that she is wanting to take more of a backstage effect, almost whispering into the listener's ear, and I think it's a shame. I want to FEEL it!

All the same I'm enjoying the music quite a bit, and her voice caresses the lyrics with the same gentle touches as it always has. Her beautifully-written lyrics feel as though they cut deeply into her personally. "Thread" is probably my favorite so far, lyrically. Thinking that you have someone in your web yet finding that you have been evaded and you yourself are dangling precariously is an interesting reversal of fortune. The way she takes us down that lane is sweet and effecting and takes the listener through so many different feelings.

To say that this CD is a strange cross between Absolute Torch and Twang and Ingénue is to do a disservice to how far she's come as a lyricist since Ingénue... but the musical influence of both CD's is most certainly present. I hate to admit that I haven't just sat down yet and listened - really listened, song by song, listening to every word - to the entire CD yet... to me, this is when the true depth of the lyrics and how each song relates to the others normally comes through.

For now I will leave you with a video of a live recording of one of my all-time favorite k.d. songs. I wish the sound quality were better. Prepare for goosebumps.

Heck, we MUST have a little "Miss Chatelaine" in here somewhere!
She lets out my crazy side!

1 comment:

Diane Mandy said...

I love her music! U had no idea she was out with a new album. Thanks!