Sarah McLachlan: New Album & Song!

As if new albums by Tori Amos, Joan Osborne and Natalie Merchant weren’t enough to make this a Lilith Fair Spring, Sarah McLachlan herself will release a new collection, Shine On, on May 6th. You can hear the first single, “In Your Shoes,” and read about the song’s inspiration at E!Online.

Shine On Tracklist:

1.In Your Shoes
2.Flesh and Blood
4.Broken Heart
5.Surrender and Certainty
6.Song For My Father
7.Turn the Lights Down Low
8.Love Beside Me
9.Brink of Destruction
10.Beautiful Girl
11.The Sound That Love Makes
12.What’s It Gonna Take
13. Little B

Pre-Order @ Amazon

Sarah McLachlan Official Site

Sarah McLachlan: Laws of Illusion

Laws of Illusion is Sarah McLachlan’s first studio album of all new material in seven years. Best known as the driving force behind Lilith Fair, the gifted Canadian singer-songwriter first captured my attention with her 1991 sophomore release Solace. Largely inspired by the breakup of her marriage, Laws of Illusion delves into a lyrical sorrow not heard from Sarah in this decade. Stylistically, however, the new album’s pop sound has more in common with 2003’s Afterglow than with her earlier catalogue. Luke Doucet guests on the new album, providing backing vocals and instrumentation to several tracks.

How long have you waited? How long ‘til you drown?

In a VH1 interview just before the release of 1993’s exquisite Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, Sarah spoke of her lifelong admiration of Joni Mitchell. Her first three albums strongly reflected that particular folk inspiration, but Sarah abandoned the poetic acoustics in favor of a more radio friendly pop style for her recent releases.

However, the press release for Laws of Illusion included a quote from her idol Joni Mitchell: “Sarah looks at love ‘from both sides now.'” That hint of a return to Sarah’s musical roots didn’t quite pan out, but the dual sentiment of Mitchell’s lyric does sum up the new album.

The best portions of Laws of Illusion examine the heartbreak and anger born of love gone wrong, finding Sarah returning to a deeper sound appropriate to such an emotional loss.

The betrayal anthem “Forgiveness” is a prime example of this darker tone and has accurately been described as the centerpiece of Laws of Illusion. The bluesy and atmospheric ballad “Rivers of Love” is another strong point, recalling Sarah’s debut Touch.

The rest of the album sounds more like the catchy recent hits by Sara Bareilles, particularly the jaunty and sentimental first single “Loving You Is Easy.” That’s certainly not a bad thing, for the world is in dire need of good pop songs. It just seems like a waste of Sarah’s beautiful voice.

The sparse music box arrangement of the finale “Bring on the Wonder” is a much lovelier display of Sarah’s substantial talents.

I was not granted permission to share an mp3, but you can hear samples at the links below…

Buy @ Amazon

Sarah McLachlan Official Site
Sarah McLachlan MySpace

CD Contest: Sarah Mclachlan

Contest Closed
Murúch and Filter Magazine are giving away one copy of Sarah McLachlan’s Rarities, B-Sides, and Other Stuff 2 CD. You can read my review of the album here, and the contest details are below.

The Prize:

1 copy of Sarah McLachlan’s Rarities, B-Sides, and Other Stuff 2 CD

The Rules:

Comment to this entry with your email address. You may include the name of your favorite Sarah McLachlan song if you wish, but that’s optional. You can also email me to enter, but comments are preferred.

Note: This contest is open to everyone and anyone, but all contestants must enter with a valid email address in order to qualify. The winner of the contest will also be required to provide me with their full name, phone number, and postal address. Your contact information will only be used for shipping purposes.

The Deadline:

The contest will end on Friday, May 30th. The winner will be chosen at random and contacted via email.

Go now go! And tell others.

Contest Closed

Sarah McLachlan: Rarities, B-Sides, and Other Stuff 2

I’ve been a fan of Canadian singer-songwriter Sarah McLachlan since long before her Lilith Fair days, stumbling upon her second album Solace in the early 1990s and shortly after devouring 1993’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. Though her recent releases haven’t captivated me so intensely, my fondness for her elegant voice hasn’t diminished over the years. Sarah released the first volume of Rarities, B-Sides & Other Stuff in 1996, and now gives us this second collection of soundtrack work, previously unreleased as well as live tracks, and collaborations with guests Cyndi Lauper, Bryan Adams, DMC, Emmylou Harris, The Perishers, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, DJ Tiësto, and Delerium.

The album opens with “Ordinary Miracle”, culled from the Charlotte’s Web soundtrack. Though I prefer Fisher‘s cover, McLachlan’s version is also lovely. Cyndi Lauper then joins McLachlan on the pretty acoustic duet of “Time After Time” that they recorded for Lauper’s The Body Acoustic.

Though I personally think that Holly Cole recorded the definitive cover of Joni Mitchell’s “River” on her 1997 album Dear Dark Heart, McLachlan successfully captures the soft melancholy of the original. Allison Crowe‘s interpretation is good, too.

Bryan Adams guests on the Gretchen Peters tune “Don’t Let Go”, Emmylou Harris sings on the Lilith Fair edition of “Angel”, and The Perishers appear on the live recording “Pills”. The disc also includes McLachlan’s plucky rendition of The Beatles’ “Blackbird” from the I Am Sam soundtrack, the sweet “When She Loved Me” from Toy Story 2, and “The Rainbow Connection” from For The Kids.

I favor the original version of Delerium’s “Silence” from the Brokedown Palace soundtrack over this “In Search Of Sunrise” remix by DJ Tiësto. But I rarely like remixes. Also present are Sarah’s covers of the traditional “Prayer of St. Francis” and “Unchained Melody”.

Far more interesting than any of the above are Sarah’s a cappella cover of Paul Simon’s “Homeless” with Ladysmith Black Mambazo and the marvelously bizarre transformation of Harry Chapin’s “Cat’s In The Cradle” into the rap-rock song “Just Like Me” with rapper DMC.

I was not granted permission to share an mp3, but you can hear samples at the links below.

Sarah McLachlan Official Site

Buy @ Amazon

Sarah McLachlan

Cyndi Lauper: The Body Acoustic

Cyndi Lauper’s The Body Acoustic features new acoustic arrangements of 12 of her songs, with several being transformed into duets with Ani DiFranco, Sarah McLachlan, Shaggy, Jeff Beck, and Vivian Green among others.

The album opens with a new clap beat and string arrangement on “Money Changes Everything”, with Lauper’s raspy voice being joined by Taking Back Sunday’s Adam Lazzara. Shaggy’s reggae vocal style seems an odd match for the quasi bluegrass arrangement on “All Through The Night”, but it strangely works.

Sarah McLachlan lends her voice to an only slightly altered “Time After Time” and “Water’s Edge”. Jeff Beck pops up on “Above The Clouds”, while Vivian Green slides in on “I’ll Be Your River”. Green sticks around for a trio with Cyndi and Ani Difranco on “Sisters Of Avalon”.

Lauper goes it alone on four of the album’s tracks, including the moody dulcimer and piano take of “She Bop” and “True Colours”. And the album closes with a brassy ska duet of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” with Puffy Ami Yumi.

Cyndi Lauper Official Site
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