CD Cover Sarah McLachlan

Review by Gary 'pigboy' Swartz

There are dumber things in life than putting off reviewing an album until after it has won a couple of Grammys. I just can't think of what they are.

I mean, what am I supposed to say? I really like it? Now there's a break-through observation. Or that I don't like it and then be forced to invent some kind of intellectual crap that makes it sound like I know what I'm talking about? How about some intellectual crap about why I like it?

"It helped me get in touch with my feminine side." Close, but no cigar.

The simple truth is that there is a lot to like about this album. Together with her band, McLachlan has managed a rich weave of lyrics, melody, voice and arrangements that is hypnotically seductive. (And makes it really hard to both write and listen to at the same time.) She speaks from places both personal and universal -- confessing the doubts and desires, the infatuations and insecurities, that we all share, male or female -- with the tacit implication that she has gotten past them, or surrendered to them, or somehow accepted them, at least this time around.

Oddly enough, she is perhaps most eloquent when she abandons lyrics completely on "Last Dance," the CD's final cut, having so completely set the stage for the listener to contribute their own images and memories of relationships past and present. Or, more importantly, to face the issue of how honest the rest of us are willing to be in expressing what we think and feel about those we love.

First published in Drop-D Magazine on March 7, 1998

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