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Posted by eleanor

It hits me right there

Music is sooo emotionally manipulative.

If I stop listening to rhythm and melody, I become depressed, and I won't be truly happy again until I hear some Lena Horne. Or mebbe R.E.M.'s "Stand," from 1988.

I also need new music. Sometimes it replaces something old, sometimes it just gets added to my personal soundtrack, shouldering its way in between the bluegrass and the Kurt Weil.

But folk music -- folk gets tiring after a while. Repetitive, unless the voice is so sweet that it shivers my synapses, like a bridge resonating in the wind. I've already added a couple of tunes from long-time folkie Penny Lang's newest CD, "Stone+Sand+Sea+Sky" to the mental repertoire. And yet Lang has a sometimes raspy and at times even slightly off voice. It's a welcome reminder of the import of emotion and charm.

Twelve of the 13 songs are covers, with delightful arrangements -- producers and engineers Roma Baran and Vivian Stoll have outdone themselves.

Though Lang recently moved to B.C. after a lifetime in Montreal, she turned to Quebec for much of the talent on this disk (like Linda Morrison and Kate McGarrigle). I'm particularly stuck on the accordion of Rachelle Garniez in the traditional "Let Me Fly," and on the new arrangement for "Prairie Sky," originally recorded by Steel Rail.

Makes me happy.