Moving toward a purer version of the arty torch music of 1992's "Ingenue," lang and co-producer/co-writer Ben Mink have emphasized taste and restraint, achieving a perfection that seals out virtually all feeling.
Without inner fire, her incomparably rich tone and tender vibrato don't generate warmth, the sultry beats and vocal swoops don't create sensuality, and the faster tempos don't increase the energy.
Not that there are many fast tempos in this easy-flowing set. Lang and Mink's tunes and arrangements have a surface beauty and an easy-listening accessibility, but despite the addition of some R&B lite and world-music exotica to the ambient lounge music, it's still a narrow approach.
Now that she's taken it to its ultimate dead end, lang needs to shake things up and rediscover the emotional power she's showed in the past. She might be seeking fulfillment in the forms of the pre-rock era, but right now she's coming closer to Julie London trance than Patsy Cline passion.