1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars live is best
You can tell the real talent of an artist/band based on their live performance. The best thing,for me, about live music is the ENERGY, and this cd has plenty of it. This cd introduced me to Sarah's music and made me a fan for life. It is one of those rare cds that I can play all the way through and love every track. This was my first Sarah cd and I would recommend it as a...
Published on April 5 2004 by Brandon
3.0 out of 5 stars Inconsistent
Sarah has long been one of my favorite female vocalists, and I love almost everything she's ever sang. That being said, I was discouraged by the inconsistency on this live album, which also serves as somewhat of a greatest hits compilation.
This album mixes the very good with the very bad. The very good: an intense, almost rock-like rendition of...
Published on June 27 2001 by Ivy Lin
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars live is best,
You can tell the real talent of an artist/band based on their live performance. The best thing,for me, about live music is the ENERGY, and this cd has plenty of it. This cd introduced me to Sarah's music and made me a fan for life. It is one of those rare cds that I can play all the way through and love every track. This was my first Sarah cd and I would recommend it as a starter for any new fans. All the good things you have heard about Sarah's music are true. But don't take my word for it...listen to it for yourself.
4.0 out of 5 stars Sarah's "Fumbling/Surfacing" Show,
Recorded live on her 1998 tour for her hugely successful "Surfacing" album, "Mirrorball" demonstrates what a powerful performer Sarah McLachlan & her band are live in concert. The only debit to "Mirrorball" is that it's basically The "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy/Surfacing" Show---all but two of the songs here are exclusively from these two albums, apart from "Path Of Thorns" (from "Solace") and "I Will Remember You" (from "The Brothers McMullen" movie soundtrack). No songs from "Touch," and only one song from "Solace"? That's kinda disappointing. But I'm only criticising the lopsided choice of live tracks, NOT the quality of them, which are all marvelous. Sarah & her ace band do GREAT renditions of such songs as "Building A Mystery," "Good Enough," "Adia," "Path Of Thorns," "Fear," "Possession," and "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy," while Sarah does a remarkable solo piano stint on "Angel." There's also a charming audience sing-along on the simple-but-sweet "Ice Cream," which can't fail to bring a smile to your face. Sarah's voice is golden and angelic, and her interplay with the band is excellent. And the album *sounds* great, too.It's a sure bet that Sarah McLachlan will release another live album at some point, and hopefully it will feature songs from *all* of her wonderful albums. But "Mirrorball" is a more-than satisfying live document of this remarkable singer/songwriter, and should definitely be included in your Sarah CD collection.
1.0 out of 5 stars Read the album info before buying this R-rated CD,
In reading dozens of the hundreds of reviews of "Mirrorball," I was amazed that the majority of them were written by people who objected primarily to 2 things (that had nothing whatsoever to do with the quality of the songs or Sarah's performances of them):
1. The album is a rehash of songs that have been released before on other CDs (perhaps more than once?).
2. The noise of the crowd on many of the tracks was distracting.
For heaven's sake, don't folks read about an album before they buy it, or do they just blindly throw their money across the counter because the CD has Sarah McLachlan's name on it? It is clear from the information provided in the Amazon listing for this CD that it contains reissued songs that were performed live. If people find either or both of these things objectionable, they should save their money. Complaints like these should really be sent directly to Sarah (perhaps via her web site?) or to her label.
What couldn't be learned from reading the album information is that "Mirrorball" should be R-rated for its use of profanity, including the "F" word in "Building A Mystery." Maybe I haven't been listening carefully enough to the words on her other albums (mostly I listen to music as background material while reading), but this got my attention like a slap in the face. Apparently only one other reviewer shared my concern, which I suppose is a sign of the times. Pardon our tender sensibilities, but I still find it offensive to hear this type of language without being forewarned--I expect it if I watching an R-rated movie, but not on a Sarah McLachlan CD. I wouldn't want my 8-year-old granddaughter listening to this. Some might argue that she probably hears worse than this at school and that may well be true. Even so, I choose not to expose her to it intentionally, just as I wouldn't sit her down with me to watch an R-rated movie.
This is the basis of my 1-star rating, however unfair that may be.
If you are looking for a sampling of Sarah's work and don't mind the sounds of a live performance, but DO object to profanity, don't buy this CD.
Of course, you could consider this review your R rating and go from there. (And Yes, I will be sending a complaint to Sarah and her label.)
5.0 out of 5 stars A reflection of Sarah McLachlan,
Sarah McLachlan received recognition from the music industry at the age of 17 due to the awe that she received when she performed with her band at the time, October Game, doing gigs. At the age of 19 she received officially a contract with the recording industry with Arista Records. With the same live performance awe that the representatives received watching Sarah perform live, Mirrorball leaves the same impact of such a performer. In Mirrorball, there are many memorable heart wrenching live performances of Sarah McLachlan that makes this CD a great gift for all.
1. Building A Mystery: the guitars do a great job as they capture this song. This live performance of this song is good: good instrumentation, vocals, and back up vocals.
2. Hold On: haunting performance. I really enjoyed this great performance, great vocals, and instrumentation.
3. Good Enough
4. I Will Remember You: this song received quite a bit of recognition. There is a nice soft feel from the warm voice of Sarah, the instrumentation, and the song itself. This song is a Grammy winner for 1999 best female pop performance.
5. Adia: Another great live performance. Sarah does a great job vocally with this piece, as well as playing the piano at the same time.
6. I Love You: Compared to the Album version, this song is much better. There is so much emotion within this song. The way it is sung is very soothing and full of dramatic pose. It is because of this song that I found myself drawn to the album version. Much faster than the Album version.
7. Do What You Have To Do: this song is sung with much dramatic pose. The piano and Sarah alone can hone the song's intent. Sarah proves that she is a great performer, song writer, and singer.
8. Path Of Thorns: This song is great, but not great compared to the studio version from my perspective. The instrumentation is good, but does not match that of the studio version.
9. Fear: This song is great. The live performance gives this song much more dramatic pose by honing Sarah's voice and creating dramatic climaxes. The instrumentation help create such effect as well. Very haunting and well performed.
10. Possession: This by far received recognition among the radio waves for great the great live performance. This is my favorite as it shows the edgier side of Sarah, and also showcases Sarah's live talent. She truly gives her fan a treat with this song.
11. Sweet Surrender: my favorite song of Sarah. It is nice to hear this song performed live. I like the instrumentation, it keep close to the studio version but much edgier.
12. Ice Cream: this song can be heard with back up vocals with Ashwin as it is a love song, perfectly sung with Sarah and her husband. This is a great fun song to listen to, although it's not as nice as the others.
13. Fumbling Towards Ecstasy: I love this song. It sounds pretty much like the studio album but with just much more word coloring and dramatic pose. Also, the live instrumentation is much more powerful in this song.
14. Angel: Sarah and the piano create such dramatic impact with this song. One of the more recognized song's of Sarah, she does a great job with this performance. She puts a lot of emotions into this song. There is also good piano improvisation with this piece.
Sarah McLachlan shines as a live performance. She is most comfortable on stage, and that essence is captured in Mirrorball. For more performances, I truly recommend Mirrorball live on DVD for it has more songs included, with great performances as well. Great live album. Sarah and her talent has gotten her vary far, and this cd truly does prove her abilities as an artist.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful,
Only one word can describe this CD: beautiful. Sarah McLachlan's voice is beautiful, and her songs are beautiful. I have never liked live albums, but I heard the live version of "Posession" on the radio one day, and I just had to have the CD. This was a couple of years ago, and I'm still playing that CD today. There is not one song on the entire CD that I dislike. At first, there were a couple I didn't really care for, but just recently I got back into listening to it, and now those songs I didn't care for are my new favorite songs on the CD. It just keeps on giving! A lot of people complained that it doesn't really sound like a live album, because you don't hear too much of the audience in the background. Who knows, maybe that's why I love it so much. Still, usually I find that a live album just doesn't sound as good as the one made in the studio, but Sarah McLachlan is so talented that even when it's just her and her piano, she is amazing. If you like Sarah McLachlan at all, please add this to your collection.
5.0 out of 5 stars Dreamy Voice, Smooth Band, Tight Production,
I didn't know much about Sarah McLachlan before I bouth this CD, but now after listening to it for several months, she is one of my favorites. I wonder if it's because I heard this live album first, but when I listen to the studio albums, I don't think the songs are nearly as good as they are here. The studio versions I found somewhat wooden and cold by comparison, but live a great amount of emotion comes though. Sarah's voice is incredibly expressive and she gives flawless performances. It's really impressive for someone to sound so good live, and I like that she doesn't hide her voice behind tons of effects and other instruments. Gee she plays guitar and piano very nicely too, what more do you want? I also get the idea from how she interacts with the crowd that she's a genuinely nice person too. Maybe you don't care but it makes me appreciate her even more.
The production is very good, so you will not feel like you are compromising quality. I feel it's one of the best-sounding live albums I've heard, right up there with Supertramp's "Paris", Dire Straits' "Alchemy", and Joe Jackson's "Big World". Originally I only liked a few songs on this album. I'm glad I gave a few of the "disposable" ones a chance because now I love pretty much all of them -- there are no tracks that need skipping over here. There's a good range of emotional textures presented, from the semi-rocking (for a folk artist) "Building a Mystery", "Possession", and "Sweet Surrender", to fun to nostalgic power ballads like "Adia" and "Good Enough", to haunting and sad piano introspections "Do What You Have to Do" and "Angel".
I really hope some guys get over their anti-female-artist bias and try this album. Trust me this is NOT Britney Spears (no choreographed background monkeys here!). It's touching and intelligent and honest songwriting, sung by one of the most beautiful voices you will ever hear and it is well worth your fourteen bucks.
5.0 out of 5 stars Basically, Sarah's greatest hits in live performance,
The advantages of this collection are several: accessibility, song selection and recording quality. Admittedly, almost the entire album pulls from her last two studio albums, with the beautifully sung and harmonized "Path of Thorns" as exception to the rule, so you can't call this the deepest collection of Sarah ever released. With that said, both of those albums are classics and enormous steps forward for her as a musician, overshadowing almost everything she did previously.
Her most immediately likable songs are all featured here, in some cases sounding better than they do on the original, although not too much divergence from the original arrangements is heard ("Possession," "Fear" being moderate exceptions). For live performances where vocals usually suffer from singers not being able to hear themselves well enough, Sarah sounds good, especially working in harmony with her accompanying vocalists. The band itself has never sounded better, benefiting from Ash Sood's extremely tight time and a new and hopefully permanent lead guitarist.
If you don't know whether you like her or not, buy it. If you already liked some of her radio singles but aren't sure whether you want to invest in any of her albums, buy this and then go back to "Surfacing" and "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy." The tempos tend to be ten to twenty beats faster than originally recorded, and the entire band sounds like it's having fun.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fumbling Towards Perfection...And Reaching It,
The hardest position to be in a band is not the one you would think. I mean, sure, you have to have the instrumental ability to play one, but the frontman really has the most difficult job...the job of communicating to the listener...communicating in ways that communication does not normally take form. Listening to music is an escape...and very few can make it an escape that we will want to return to.
Sarah MacLachlan is one of the most gifted in the industry at communicating her emotions, and getting a dynamic response. Mirrorball is a summation of all the best emotion she has communicated, and the emotion that listeners have had the strongest responses to. Yes, most live CDs have the tendency to have the audience cheering in the background, but it's very rare to have an audience made up of thousands of individuals...each feeling like they are the only other person in the room with the person performing. The audience in this CD has this response, and you really can actually tell by their responses, namely to the tracks 'Building a Mystery', 'I Love You' and 'I Will Remember You', all tracks of powerful emotion and poetry.
Sarah is a beautiful person, and she really has developed and matured into an amazing singer, lyricist and musician over the years. This CD shows the milestone upon which she has stumbled. Maybe, very soon, another live CD showing another milestone stumbled upon will come out, because Sarah MacLachlan is a milestone of grand proportions and should be remembered for as long as possible.
It's poets like her that are keeping music an art.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorite CDs ever,
I admit it, I bought _Mirrorball_ because I was cheap. I didn't want to shell out for both _Fumbling Towards Ecstasy_ and _Surfacing_, but the McLachlan songs I'd loved on the radio were pretty much evenly distributed between the two albums. Then McLachlan comes out with this live album, and Voila! it contains all of my then-favorites.
Oddly enough, the radio hits ("Adia", "Angel", "Possession", etc.) are probably the ones that I play least these days. I've fallen hopelessly in love, instead, with "Good Enough", "Do What You Have To Do," "The Path of Thorns", and other less-known songs. McLachlan is one of the best lyricists I've come across; she is never pretentious or stilted. She can convey the deepest and most universal of emotions with nothing but simple everyday language and a haunting voice. Other artists use long words and convoluted lyrics, or else revert to constant cliches, but only McLachlan seems to have the guts to just lay it right out there on the table. When pressed for an example, I always quote "Hold On": "Oh God, the man I love is leaving." Simple, and cuts straight to the point and to the heart,
And to those fans who say that _Mirrorball_ can't hold a candle to McLachlan's earlier albums, just be aware that it is _Mirrorball_ that has convinced me to go out and buy those earlier albums, now that I've gotten this wonderful taste. If this is "bad" Sarah McLachlan, I'm more eager than ever to hear the good.
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic from start to finish,
Having got each and every album that Sarah McLachlan has ever released, some may think it pointless to also buy what is essentially her greatest hits. Yes, I have all the songs, but any of you that have listened to 'The Freedom Sessions' should realise that Sarah would never cop out by producing carbon copies of songs she's already recorded.
The album is predominantly songs from her more successful 'Surfacing' and 'Fumbling' era which, whilst understandable, is a little disheartending to the dedicated fans. Luckily, the DVD of 'Mirrorball' has a few extra songs on. However, the album itself has some real corkers on, with it being quite possible to name every track as a stand-out.
Each song has been uniquely changed: 'Possession' and 'Fumbling Towards Ecstasy' are given a much more rockier feel to them, whilst 'Hold On' and 'Angel' acquire a much more heartfelt reality to them when sung live. Sarah's amazing voice really comes through on this album and it's a good introduction to anyone new to her sound. Basically though, this is a near perfect and gorgeous album that you will play over and over again. It's intelligent, it's beautiful and it's even catchy. What more could you ask?
One thing worth noting though is the inclusion of 'I Will Remember You', albeit minus a verse, which was previously only available on the 'B-Sides And Rarities' album.
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