Top critical review
on June 27, 2001
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 "Possession," which is a marked improvement over the album version, which made a song about sexual jealousy and obsession seem rather spacey and New-Age. Also, a similarly rock-like "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" gave the song a depth that was not present in the album version. "Ice Cream," with an audience sing-along, was charming. If everything else on this album was as wonderful as these three songs, I'd undoubtedly have given five stars.
Alas, it is not. Sarah shows a discouraging tendency to slow many of the songs down, as if she was being a seductive cabaret singer. "Hold On," one of my favorite songs, for instance, becomes rather languid, and, frankly, boring. The exquisite "I Will Remember You" has a bizarre cut in the opening stanza, and has none of the original's tenderness and sensitivity. The other tracks are nice but unmemorable. It'd have been nice if she had included some rarities, but alas, she doesn't.
So frankly, I'm disappointed with Sarah's offering.