Is Sarah McLachlan a secret punk rocker? To be sure, her rebellion is hushed. On Afterglow
, her first studio album since 1997's Surfacing
, McLachlan's music is as tempered as ever; at times, even the piano chords at the heart of the sound are tucked neatly beneath layer upon layer of strings and overdubbed voices. Listen to what's being sung within this soothing aural bed, though, and hear the just-before-sleep murmurings of the quietest riot grrl: "I'm a train wreck waiting to happen... a wildfire born of frustration", "How stupid could I be... you're no good for me, but you're the only one I see", "I have to push just to see how far you'll go". The latter song ("Push") resolves itself with the assurance "You complete me". Ultimately, McLachlan fans will be comforted again by what turns out to be her reliably untroubled aesthetic. --Rickey Wright
features all new songs including: "Fallen", "Stupid", "World on Fire", "Drifting", "Answer", "Trainwreck", "Perfect Girl", "Time", and "Push".