Canadian chanteuse pays parochial tribute

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KD Lang – Hymns Of The 49th Parallel

Long since abandoning her Patsy Cline infatuation, KD Lang remains a supremely talented singer, whether setting her sights on torch tunes or contemporary pop. But as a recording artist, she’s drifting. On her second themed album of covers since 1997, Lang surveys her Canadian folk/pop peers?Cohen, Mitchell, Young. She’s in fine voice, but rarely brings new emotional resonance to familiar warhorses like Cohen’s “Bird On A Wire”, much less intimate material like Mitchell’s “Case Of You”.

As a stylistic exercise, Hymns is a success, but the preponderance of monochromatic ballads make this a tough listen.