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4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
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Showing 1-10 of 10 reviews(4 star). Show all reviews
on April 2, 2004
Sarah McLachlan's "Freedom Sessions" EP from 1995 is a bit of an oddity: seven acoustic versions of songs from Sarah's masterpiece, "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy," plus a cover of the old Tom Waits chestnut, "Ol' 55." Plus, as an added bonus, "The Freedom Sessions" can also be popped into your computer for some extra Sarah goodies (and if I'm not mistaken, this was the very first "Enhanced" CD ever released, so congratulations to Sarah for being the first!). Like her import release from 1996, "Rarities, B-Sides & Other Stuff," this Sarah CD is for diehards only, but it is a wonderful disc, with Sarah and her band putting a softer, live-in-the-studio spin on such "Fumbling" favorites as "Elsewhere," "Plenty," "Mary," "Good Enough," & "Hold On" that are all very enjoyable. The cover of "Ol' 55" is great fun, and the multimedia portion for your computer is excellent. It's always a pleasure to get any new release from Sarah McLachlan, whether it's a "proper" studio album, or an extra goodie like "The Freedom Sessions." Highly recommended.
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on March 5, 2000
As the title suggests, the tracks on this album are renditions of previous songs played freely. If you're a new fan, I'd strongly recommend getting "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" instead. It helps to hear the original before hearing these altered tunes. And if you have a CD-Rom, check out the multimedia presentation because it is very cool!
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on January 23, 2000
"The Freedom Sessions" is by no means a bad CD, but it is definitely not for everyone. I recommend getting this CD only to complete a personal Sarah collection.
The songs on this CD are stripped-down, raw versions of those on "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy," which is easily one of Sarah's best works. Making the adjustment from Fumbling to Freedom, however, is not so easy. It takes a while to get used to the new feeling. During the first listening, the album can seem boring and sleepy, but after a few spins, the songs show off their pure emotion, unfettered by fancy instrumentation and polishing. "The Freedom Sessions" thus accomplishes its goal; it reveals the core of Sarah's words and feelings. In short, give this CD time to show itself off.
Although the songs take a while to establish themselves, the CD-ROM presentation steals the spotlight immediately. The enhanced portion is by far the best of all of Sarah's CDs. It includes clips of all the songs off the CDs released before this one, unlike "Surfacing"'s enhanced portion, which only has clips of two songs from each album. Moreover, "The Freedom Sessions" has generous clips of Sarah's various videos. The CD also has information about her older band members, the Fumbling tour, and even a visit Sarah made to Southeast Asia. The only problem with the enhanced portion is that you always have to skip track one on an audio player, but the multimedia more than makes up for this inconvenience.
All in all, don't pass up "The Freedom Sessions," but keep it as one of the last on your Sarah wish list. She has a lot to offer on her regular albums, so set this one aside until you're ready for it. On a final note, it would have been nice to get just a couple more songs on this version, such as "Wait" and the extremely underrated "Circle."
Key tracks: Elsewhere, Plenty, Mary, Ice Cream, Ice, Ol' 55
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on January 1, 2000
Essentially this cd contains acoustic and demo tracks from her 1993 album Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. Many of the demos, like the fully produced ones, are chilling. Stand outs are Plenty, Ice, and the gorgeous version of Hold On, where it's just Sarah and her piano. If you're a hard core Sarah fan, check this out.
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on November 30, 1999
These demos from the 'Fumbling Towards Ecstasy' album have a beauty that outshines the slick prodution of the final release. Sublime.
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on November 27, 1999
Sarah McLachlan is a master at hiding things at the end of her discs, deep into a track. This one is no different. Hold On makes another appearance. Good. I love that song. I saw her at Lilith Fair in Minnesota, and i realized that for me to have been completely happy, she'd have to have played every song she has written (except Adia). And for that reason, i was incredibly happy to see Mary on The Freedom Sessions. This song simply does not get enough recognition. Simply beautiful. Another must listen is Ol' 55. It's my favorite on the disc. And the stripped down Hold On (just sarah and a piano) is aching. It is a must own for a Sarah fan.
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on June 16, 1999
I've always been facinated by the creative process; the steps to how artists, musicians, writers, et al, go through to create their works. So admittedly my opinion is biased just based on that. However, this album stands on it's own nearly as well. "Elsewhere" has a great groove to it, the loose version of "Ice Cream" is actually superior to the "Fumbling..." version, and Tom Waits' "Ol' 55" is a refreshing improv, especally for someone known for their pristine studio production. And the CD-Rom program isn't bad either!
It's an essential listen for fans of hers to see how the final work developed, but the casual fan will also enjoy it a great deal. In fact, I owned this before I owned "Fumbling..." (although I was very familiar with it). A nice little portrait of the artist at work.
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on August 30, 1998
Sarah has the most beautiful voice. Period. She could make a grown man cry. But some how I just though "Fumbling" wasn't one of her best. The only song I just didn't like was Possesion. The rest was nice. Especially the music. Sarah really shines.
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on August 24, 1998
I absolutely love Sarah's "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" This CD with it's acoustic versions is almost as good. In some cases, I like the acoustic versions, such as "Ice" or "Hold On"; a song that is much more beautiful than on FTE. In other cases, such as "Elsewhere" I would readily stick to the FTE version. But it is nice to hear the songs a little differently, and for the most part, I enjoy this CD, and I'm not sure if I'll ever hear FTE the same again.
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on May 12, 1998
If you really liked Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, this album may appeal to you as well. In some cases, the remade songs are more interesting than the originals ("Plenty", "Ice"), in other places they fall a little short. The alternative versions are very interesting, and a worthwhile addition to any Sarah McLachlan collection.
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