The Brilliant k.d. lang
There are more than a few extraordinary voices in the world, and one of them is k. d. lang. She can take any song and make it a prayer, a calling to the heart — heck, a reason to live on a very bad day. She could sing a nursery rhyme and I’d listen.
What gives k.d. lang her compelling vocal quality?
She has honest sound, and it is connected to her — entirely.
She has unadorned sound. No vocal shenanigans, so stylizing, no extras. She just sings and you have to listen with all your heart the moment she opens her mouth.
She has sung with Roy Orbison and Tony Bennett, among many others.
And not surprisingly, Tony Bennett has very kind things to say about her:
“I can tell if someone has got it, or hasn’t got it, and k.d. has a gift. She’s just a very beautiful, natural singer, and there aren’t many of them around. Every note (of hers) has great feeling and honesty. I can’t ask for a more pleasant thing to listen to than to listen to k.d. sing.”
This is what Leonard Cohen (who wrote “Halleluyah”) and his partner, singer Anjani Thomas had to say about KD’s version of “Halleluyah” sung at Cohen’s induction into the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame:
“After hearing k.d. lang perform that song at the Canadian Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 2006 we looked at each other and said, ‘Well, I think we can lay that song to rest now! It’s really been done to its ultimate blissful state of perfection.'”
True. Good thinking.