k.d. lang

Live with BBC Orchestra

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Usually when a veteran artist goes out on tour to promote a new album, she will fill her set with reliable favorites while working in a handful of numbers from her latest effort. But for the concert captured in this video, performed in a church in London in February 2008, the month that her album Watershed was released, k.d. lang, accompanied by her backup band and the BBC Concert Orchestra, turns the tables on that scenario, performing the album in its entirety (if not in the sequence heard on the disc), while working in nine other selections from earlier in her career, including cover tunes from her previous release, 2004's Hymns of the 49th Parallel (Neil Young's "Helpless," Jane Siberry's "The Valley," Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah"); her biggest hit, "Constant Craving"; and even a song from her major-label debut, 1987's Angel with a Lariat ("Paydirt"). Playing before a small audience that appears to take up less space than the musicians, lang comfortably performs her first set of original material in eight years and demonstrates that, in its sophisticated music retaining traces of country and in its poetic lyrics, it is of a piece with her most popular adult contemporary repertoire. Previous videos have been given over to that earlier music, and the new songs, sung with lang's usual richness and fervor, stand up to them well.

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