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Album: kd lang

Watershed, Nonesuch

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. Most artfully done. She will be congratulating herself, and with reason.