Hymns of the 49th Parallel

Hymns of the 49th Parallel

by k.d. lang


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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: 10338


  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

Customer Reviews

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Hymns of the 49th Parallel 4.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Real, pure, sensual, heartfelt; a high honor to the Canadian musicians she is representing. k.d. never fails to give the best that she has to give. And it's good to see Ben's name again!
Guest More than 1 year ago
That voice, the selection of music, that voice and the poetry she sings makes this one her all-time best!!! Put this on, turn down the lights and you are morphed to one of the world's greatest concert halls where the air is filled with a powerful yet delicate menu of folk/jazz/pop blended togther so masterfully, the only possible reaction is "WOW."
Guest More than 1 year ago
We received this as a gift and have truly enjoyed it over and over again. It is perfect "dinner" music, Sunday morning music, or really just anytime. Smooth, sultry, raw - quintessential k.d.lang
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sit back, kick off your shoes, pour yourself a glass of wine, and get ready to be drawn into a deep relaxing trance from which you will not want to leave. k.d.lang's smooth velvety voice, and these soft meloncholy songs will take you there. Never mind that you have never heard of any of these songs. k.d. lang refuses to waste her beautiful voice by conforming to the ever so tiresome 'radio play' songs you hear day in and day out. This music makes her voice sound like liquid gold. Encore Encore!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
All of these songs are full of soul and sung straight from the heart.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I knew nothing about K.D. Lang until a friend gave me this CD. If I had a voice like hers, I would never stop singing. She is awesome and I was immediately hooked. I could listen to her songs endlessly, and probably do.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I don't know how - in my taste for all kinds of music - and radio channels - I missed k.d. lang. I saw this CD advertised and decided it sounded worth trying and I listened to it three times just the first day that I bought it. She has this incredible voice that I just can't get over. I love it - every song on the CD. I have never heard a voice like hers and so now - I will buy her others. The songwriters deserve accolades, too, as these songs are really good and the music excellent. What a voice this woman has!
Guest More than 1 year ago
How sad for those of you that are just discovering the most amazing voice to come into my life, ever. I'm a 67 year old "hip"pie and I fell in love with k.d. when I first saw her on the Tonight Show with her Calgary band, The Reclines. This CD is like all of the rest her BEST EVER. I was overwhelmed and continue to be. This is a voice straight out of heaven and in this CD she is better than ever. I was also fortunate to catch the k. d. and Lyle tour so saw her sing Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah as it's never been done. It made a grown man cry.