5.0 out of 5 stars The Freedom Sessions
Typical Sarah Mclachlan-perfect in every way, size, shape, and form. Nothing could have been better. It's a lovely movement from Fumbling (Though FTE was gorgeous) and all the songs have a different edge. As always, 5/5, 5/5, 5/5...and so on.
Elsewhere: My first impression was the funky version of both Sarah and Elsewhere, if you can picture that. Really different from...
Published on May 10 2004
3.0 out of 5 stars The Original direction of Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
I'm not actually sure why people consider this as one of Sarah McLachlan's released Albums. I actually see this CD as rather like a b-side thing, a bonus compilation of some sort because each track on this CD is from Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. Each song, though, is different from Fumbling Towards Ecstasy such as instrumentation as well as some shifts from the melodic...
Published on Dec 18 2003 by S. Bi
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Freedom Sessions,
By A Customer
Elsewhere: My first impression was the funky version of both Sarah and Elsewhere, if you can picture that. Really different from the first, but totally and awesomely cool. "I believe this is heaven to no one else but me."
Plenty: Overlapped voices in the background give this Plenty a sort of freaky sound. Not many instruments, but the voices provide the base really well. "I looked into your eyes, they told me plenty I already knew."
Mary: The piano is a lot more in depth on this version. It's so soulful I was in tears by the end. So moving. "Take her hand, she will lead you through the fire. Oh, and give you back hope, and hope that you don't take too much."
Good Enough: Sarah's voice in this is at some of its best. Quiet, yet strong. This song pulls you in and won't let you out. "It's not the wind that cracked your shoulder and threw you to the ground."
Hold On: Gorgeous and intense as always, with an added part at the end. "Now you're sleeping peaceful, I lie awake and pray that you'll be strong tomorrow..."
Ice Cream: Even more fun than normal. Sarah comments that she tried to make this more like her live performances. It makes you want to dance. "Your love is better than ice cream..."
Ice: This is the hard rock version of Ice. Really nice and intense. Ice takes on a whole new meaning after hearing this. "I don't like your tragic sighs, as if your god has passed you by."
Ol'55: A sit back and relax song that appeals to the memory. Sarah does this so well. "Well the sun's comin' up." It has a hidden version of Hold On which tends more towards groove. "... and love the light that brings a smile across your face."
Thank you, Sarah, for creating a CD that, as always, I can't seem to stop listening to.
4.0 out of 5 stars An Enjoyable Sarah Oddity,
5.0 out of 5 stars SML Newbie,
So far I've also bought 'Surfacing', 'Afterglow' & 'Fumbling...' I much prefer Freedom Sessions as it has that raw feel/emotion to it compared with 'Fumbling...' I like all of the songs. The only annoyance is the first PC track, annoying because I have to remember to skip it unless I want to be greeted with noise!
3.0 out of 5 stars The Original direction of Fumbling Towards Ecstasy,
1. CD-ROM Multimedia Presentation.
This CD, I would recommend to Sarah McLachlan fans who have developed a liking to Fumbling Towards Ecstasy and want to hear a different side to some of the songs from Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. They are quite different, some of which are good and some of which one would be happy that they weren't released in Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. If you are a new fan to Sarah McLachlan, I would recommend Sarah's other CD: Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, Surfacing, or even Afterglow. This CD just shows another side of Sarah and basically the original structures of the song. In the cover sleeve, Sarah writes:
"Most of the songs on Fumbling Towards Ecstasy began as acoustic pieces. Early in the recording process we thought about putting out two records: one record of the original acoustic songs and another with more produced and/or layered songs. In time, one version usually presented itself to be the stronger or just more interesting in its instrumentation and direction, whatever felt right at the time.
I love Fumbling Towards Ecstasy recording and wouldn't change a thing, but I love these versions as reminders of where the songs started and of the various paths we wandered down to discover their identities. It was a joy watching them grow."
Truly in contrast to Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, each piece did develop and grow into much more beautiful music, except for Mary, which I would have preferred have been on the Fumbling Towards Ecstasy released. Overall, this CD is okay, only if you are a fan of Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, and want to explore in their original paths.
5.0 out of 5 stars terrible,
do not have that patients to sit and listen to it all I got
to say 2004.
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this album for one song...,
By A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than "Fumbling",
The tracks that stood out to me here were "Ice" and "Plenty"; however, there isn't a single track here that isn't wonderful.
5.0 out of 5 stars If you love Fumbling...,
By A Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars How it should have been done the first time...,
This album reveals all of the songs stripped down to an acoustic guitar, a piano, and vocals - a beautiful revelation. The result is much jazzier, more raw versions of the song.
My favorite track on this is "Elsewhere," which has a really deep bass line and ... well, just rocks.
This album is really how "Ecstacy" should have been released in the first place, without all the studio drama... but having them both to compare, just makes this one seem even better.
3.0 out of 5 stars Nobody bothered with take two,
First of all, Sarah's voice will carry most efforts by itself, regardless of how poorly coordinated or haphazard the efforts by the supporting musicians. That said, Freedom Sessions both delivers and drowns based on its spontaneity. I came away with the impression that all of the musicians had just met and started playing Fumbling hits, keeping the good ones as well as the bad ones and shying away from artistically limiting notions like editing or discretion. I imagine this album is a good representative of how Sarah sounds when she is fiddling around with a couple of her friends, no real pressure, "Dude, we should record this" sort of evening.
As a result, the album is spectacularly hit or miss. As others have remarked, there are versions of Hold On and Good Enough that are downright shivery. She plays to the more dramatic aspects of her singing style and is not afraid to take chances. This pays off on at least a few tracks. The Ol' 55 cover is unexpected, but good. Ice Cream is still good, but not any different from Fumbling.
However, on a few songs (Elsewhere in particular) the musicians sound like they have never played the song before. The background singer on Elsewhere seems out of place, whenever she sings there's a marked tempo shift. The guitar gradually gains confidence over the course of the song but largely repeats the same scale over and over the way you do in a jam session when you aren't entirely sure what will happen next, and Sarah actually loses the percussion a few times. The effect is raw to the point of being jagged.
Plus, none of the supporting musicians seem to be that good or clear on what they are there to do. Ice in particular takes a beautiful and delicate song and smothers it in unimaginatively played, distortion heavy electric guitar.
Sarah fanatics will like this CD because they would like anything she produces. Those of us that find Sarah McLachlan to be pleasant but not iconic might want to stick to the more polished material. This is a CD aimed at a niche audience. You know who you are.
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