is the first major project from celebrated Canadian chanteuse k.d. lang since 2004's Hymns of the 49th Parallel
. Where Hymns
explored the music of fellow Canadians such as Ron Sexsmith, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell, Watershed
represents the first set of original songs from lang in around eight years. Self-produced and arranged by musicians she has worked with a lot in the past, the most striking aspect of the album is its intimate, homely feel. Adding to the cozy ambience is the fact that Watershed brings most of lang's musical passions and influences--jazz, country, folk, bossa nova--under one roof, lending the project a dreamy, mellifluous coherence. But if the musical landscape is mellow and easy to traverse, Lang's lyrics can be less comfortable. Using her laid-back, often ethereal arrangements as sugar-candied coating for thornier topics, the singer serenades with stories of broken love, occasionally harsh self-analysis and the obligatory forays into existential angst. These contrastive elements only serve to make the album stronger, adding emotional weight to the airless arrangements of "Once in a While," and the delicate "Close Your Eyes," and conjuring up images of beauty on the string-laden "I Dream of Spring," and the wonderfully lazy "Sunday". Intelligent, mature and sophisticated, Watershed is the kind of perfect pop album it's difficult not to fall in love with immediately and forever. --Paul Sullivan
k.d. lang's new album, "Watershed", comprises 11 new songs written and produced by k.d.
"Watershed" is the first album of newly written material from the four-time Grammy winner since 2000's "Invincible Summer", and her first studio album since 2004's acclaimed Canadian songbook, "Hymns Of The 49th Parallel". It is also the first self-produced collection of her celebrated 25-year career.