Remember Popples, those brightly coloured 80s stuffed animals that you could turn inside out and they’d still be soft and furry? Chances are your girlfriend has one stashed in the same closet where she keeps her old k.d. lang CDs. Lang’s newest album, Watershed, is nothing to be ashamed of and has nothing to hide. She long ago mastered the lesbian love song, and Watershed is a confident reminder of her skills.
There is a small problem with Watershed (though on close reflection it reveals itself to be one of initial perception more than an actual flaw). Despite its wonderfully relaxed feel, an expert use of dynamics in individual songs, and the expert way of slotting different instrumental and stylistic elements next to one another and erasing the seams; it's that by about track six, "Close Your Eyes," the album seems to bleed into a whole, where the mood is so laid-back it makes one song more or less indistinguishable from another -- unless you are listening very closely. At under 39 minutes, it can simply go by you in a slow, dissolving blur.