k.d. lang has spent her eccentric career pitching between twin poles of desire--torch (jazz/blues) and twang (retro country), and artistry and flamboyance. On Live by Request, she revisits the best of her shimmering repert... more »oire, from her rough-edged cowpunk days to her current gossamer soundscape. But at the start of the set, recorded December 2000 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, she threatens to diminish her own impact with a lumpy, rushed rendition of "Summerfling" and a cartoonish version of "Big Boned Gal." Soon, however, she settles down to do what she does best, which is seduction. While a way-too-melodramatic arrangement spoils "Don't Smoke in Bed," she goes on to bring goose-bump intimacy to "The Consequences of Falling" and "Constant Craving," one of popular music's most aching songs of longing laid bare. By the time she turns her exquisite soprano to the howling chorus of "Barefoot," the earth doesn't just move, Ernest, it trembles--a prelude to the staggeringly emotional affect of "Pullin' Back the Reins." When she gets to that one, don't be surprised if your stereo starts to smoke. --Alanna Nash« less
k.d. lang has spent her eccentric career pitching between twin poles of desire--torch (jazz/blues) and twang (retro country), and artistry and flamboyance. On Live by Request, she revisits the best of her shimmering repertoire, from her rough-edged cowpunk days to her current gossamer soundscape. But at the start of the set, recorded December 2000 at John Jay College of Criminal Justice at the City University of New York, she threatens to diminish her own impact with a lumpy, rushed rendition of "Summerfling" and a cartoonish version of "Big Boned Gal." Soon, however, she settles down to do what she does best, which is seduction. While a way-too-melodramatic arrangement spoils "Don't Smoke in Bed," she goes on to bring goose-bump intimacy to "The Consequences of Falling" and "Constant Craving," one of popular music's most aching songs of longing laid bare. By the time she turns her exquisite soprano to the howling chorus of "Barefoot," the earth doesn't just move, Ernest, it trembles--a prelude to the staggeringly emotional affect of "Pullin' Back the Reins." When she gets to that one, don't be surprised if your stereo starts to smoke. --Alanna Nash
"k.d. lang has such a powerful and commanding voice that, in the short span of six months, I have gone from owning 0 of her cd's to owning every one of them (10 altogether), and have thrilled at the prospect of her each new interpretation. Having lost all objectivity for a woman who can very nearly do no wrong, I will attempt to describe the things that LIVE BY REQUEST does and doesn't achieve. Without question, the combination of k.d.'s Live By Request show, its subsequent release in 3 formats (this cd, VHS and DVD) and her current tour with Tony Bennett have brought her to a wider audience than ever before. Know that this cd is VERY GOOD. But is it As Good As She Gets? Not Even! What this cd offers is the broadest slice of k.d.'s musical repertoire and a handful of songs that could easily qualify as her "Greatest Hits" if radio had afforded her the airplay she deserves. If forced to pick from her top 10 best songs, I could acquiesce to "Pullin' Back the Reins", "Big-boned Gal", "Crying", and "Trail of Broken Hearts", all included here to no measure of disappointment. They aptly represent her virtuoso at heartache and high energy. For those new to k.d.'s career, this will serve as a satisfying introduction to the wonder of her voice. Be sure to go beyond the opening track, Summerfling, which is from Invincible Summer, her last release and, I hesitate to add, the least indicative of her awesome potential. For the already-converted k.d. fans, this is indeed her long-awaited first live release and, as always, her voice is in beautiful form. Still, this point in her career finds her renditions understated compared to earlier performances. If you're looking for THE definitive live performance by k.d., it is available only on VHS in the unsurpassable "Live in Sydney". While her voice astounds, little can compare to both hearing and seeing her work her magic. Hopefully this cd will give new fans enough of a taste of k.d.'s material to seek out her earlier gems, most notably ABSOLUTE TORCH AND TWANG, SHADOWLAND and ALL YOU CAN EAT. By my standard, whenever k.d. sings, she's preaching to the choir! And I say AMEN!"
Lang's Voice Stands Out Among Contemporary Pop Artists
T. J. Litafik | Pikeville, KY USA | 08/16/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Until Live By Request, I had never purchased a k.d. lang c.d.. Long a Tony Bennett fan, I had the pleasure of seeing Tony with k.d. in concert two weeks ago. k.d. lang could very well be THE best voice in pop today. Her quirkiness, I believe, is the only thing that has held her back from being bigger than she is. Sadly, some of her material is rather quixotic. On the right song, however, there's none any better than lang. Live By Request opens with the upbeat, addictive tune "Summerfling," off lang's last c.d. "Invincible Summer." Among other highlights are her stunning versions of Roy Orbison's "Crying" and Peggy Lee's "Don't Smoke in Bed." Also included are her hits "Constant Craving" and "Black Coffee."I would say that this, among any other, is the one k.d. lang c.d. you should buy. It's highlights her catalog and it's quite a performance."
A truly... Live experience.
Marco Marroni | Rome, Italy. | 06/17/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm italian, I'm a musician and... I fell in love with katrin dawn. I have all her cds, but this one has a special meaning to me, because, just because of my nationality, I know that here in Italy she's not well known and she will never come to play... so this reconrd is the only possibility (added to the other two live records) to me to hear her and her fantastic voice.. live. Well the other possibility is a... ticket to U.S., but,... where are the money? Ok, let's talk about "Live by request".Which is... simply brilliant. I like the selection of the songs and the way they have been rearranged, that they have been renovated but not changing their identity or their original sound.
Talking about k. d. lang... I don't know what to say: she's exciting, that's all. Her vibrato, the falsetto, the imperpretative malinchony or the pathos.. I really think she's one of the Voice that will be the story of these last decades..
Let's focus a while on each song.Summerfling
Well, this is a fantastic start, also because it's one of my favourite song of her last albums.. the sound and the arrangements are less refined compared with the orioginal version, but this is not a bad thing. 8Big Boned Gal
This is so funny, I have so much fun singin' it! And she's brilliant and vocally agile as in the orginal version.. I like so much the acoustic sound! 8+Black Coffee
This is a jazz standard and has a special meaning to me, because I play it with my band as a tribute to this woman. And I love it. 8-Trail Of Broken Hearts
Another Highlight, but even if it's well played, k. d. is more intense on the studio version.. Check it out. 7,5Crying
I love this song, really. And it really seems she had wrote it, even if it's not true.. but she feel it, and that's great. 8+Don't Smoke In Bed
This song has so much pathos.. and it's another old standard made famous by Peggy Lee. I love her rendition, mainly the piano & voice introduction.. unforgettable. 8+The Consequences Of Falling
This song is so.. fresh, breezy.. I love it, even if it has a very simple structure and it's a little different (rythmically) from the original version.. relaxing. 8,5Miss Chatelaine
I've understood the meaning of this song thanks to the explanation of a canadian reviewer somewhere in one of k. d.'s cd, and.. I think it's a funny song, very brazil-in-new-york! 7+Three Cigarettes In An Ashtray
Another classic, taken from the country repertory of Patsy Cline.. which is a betutiful waltzer, but.. maybe is the only song that I would have not played for a live session that was going to be a record. It's just.. too "old-style". 6,5Barefoot
Well this song could be the only reason to buy this cd. It has been a surprise, it's so.. catchy, frozen.. and so much better than the original and less-known version! I love this song, really.. so malinchonic. 9Constant Craving
Here's the "Smash Hit", k. d. would have made a mistake to not sang it.. The live versione has lost a little talking about vocal rendition, but the arrangement is more acoustic and well-built, the song is a little faster and you won't be thinking about the difference with the "Ing?nue" version. 8+Wash Me Clean
Another "Ing?nue" song. Lovely, so fragile.. written by lang, and you can feel it by her interpretation. 8Pullin' Back The Reins
Another big suprise from the "so country" 80s, a big strong medium ballad from the awarded "Absolute Torch And Twang".. one of the best track of it. I love the lyrics. 8,5Simple
This is a so.. simple, small and brilliant song, as a little gem it shines at the end of this live experience.. I love it, resumes with astonishing semplicity and effectivenes.. what love is. 8,5I love this cd, if you're reading here maybe you'll have vaguely understood it.. But I ensure you it's one of the most beautiful live experience I've ever listened to. Your money won't be wasted at all.Marco"
A nearly perfect album from a perfect voice
Texas Brian | Austin, TX United States | 09/20/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Let's get this right from the start. I LOVE k.d. lang. Her voice gives me chills any time I hear her. She is unbelievably talented, a refreshing vocal delight in a sea of Britneys and Backstreet Boys.With that said, this disc is a stunning live performance in its own right. For anyone who has never seen her live, this is a great introduction to the sheer power that she radiates from the stage. From a haunting rendition of "Wash Me Clean" to the my-ears-are-still-ringing-and-my-spine-is-tingling performance of the Patsy Cline standard "Three Cigarettes In An Ashtray," this CD mesmerizes you from first listen.What kept it from getting five stars instead of four is, quite simply, that this is not her best performance. Having heard her live several times, I was a tiny bit disappointed here because I thought she was restrained on a couple of tracks. Her inherited-and-now-signature live song, Roy Orbison's "Crying," is almost always a show-stopper resulting in thunderous standing ovation. Here, it's still breathtaking, but you can almost hear her holding back, perhaps out of growing too familiar with the track...?At any rate, I bought this the moment it came out, and once again, I am thoroughly impressed. It's a request I am glad I made."
Knocked my socks off!
Diane V. Cote | pensacola, fl | 12/08/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Wow, was I impressed. I've heard songs by k d lang before and always appreciated her range and ability to get so deep into the emotions of her songs. I just spent an hour mezmerized by k d lang in her dvd "live by Request". As a former performer I can appreciate the nuances her voice takes on, but watching her perform, (while she'll never be a great on stage "presence" as far as connecting with her audience in conversational aspects)like many other artists, she doesn't need to! She had the folks in the audience alternately jumping to their feet in standing ovations or absolutely silent in their respect for her voice and her style, which is the greatest applause an audience can give. She gave me chills. There's a song from years ago something about artists want to sing and singers want to dance and dancers want to yak, yak, yak! The author says, don't talk, just sing! That's more than enough for me. I am awed by her talent. May she continue to "knock my socks off"!"