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Afterglow features all new songs including: "Fallen", "Stupid", "World on Fire", "Drifting", "Answer", "Trainwreck", "Perfect Girl", "Time", and "Push".
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
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Top Customer Reviews
At just over 40 minutes it's short and sweet. In typical Sarah fashion the melodies are all very strong, and her voice is as impeccable as ever.
Producer Pierre Marchant does a fine job lending the album a lush and mellow sound. The music is very textured, but simple. There are no big productions, just minimal arrangements. Acoustic and electric guitar, piano, percussion and orchestration support the melodies and Sarah's vocals. All in all, this album get's better with repeated listens. Each time I fell deeper into the music.
Of the ten songs, several stand out. Fallen is a song about failed relationships, and a ideal choice for the first single. Here Sarah shows just how well she can take a universal theme and make it personal. It also has one of the finest melodies on the album.
Many of the songs here are about relationships. Over the past several years Sarah has been through a lot, from marriage and the loss of close friends, to the death of her mother and the birth of her daughter India (in the liner notes the albums dedication is to the two of them). As can be expected her writing is very emotional, but it's also subtle.
World on Fire is undoubtably Sarah's reaction to life in the post 9/11 world. Here is an exerpt:
"Hearts break, hearts mend, love still hurts.
Visions clash, planes crash, still there's talk of saving souls.
Still the cold is closing in on us."
Answer is my favourite song on the new album. Very simple, yet powerful. An example of how less can be more. I was teary eyed when I first heard this song.Read more ›
Sarah did a very fine job on Afterglow, yet it could have been much better. However, Sarah isn't to blame; the vocals and writing are gorgeous, but she struggled to finish the record and as such needed help in the production stages. The album needs more of an edge to it, more songs more along the lines of Into the Fire, Possession, Hold On, Building A Mystery and Sweet Surrender. Not to say all the songs on Afterglow needed to be along these lines, but more of them for sure. Stupid is a little harder which is good but the album doesn't go quite far enough. World on Fire, although a strong song on the record, could have been brilliant had it been done on the guitar. A song dealing with subject matter of that nature needed to show more anger, frustration and edge to it. Posssession anyone?
Songs like Fallen, Dirty Little Secret and Answer are just gorgeous, and need no altering in their production, as it would detract from their natural beauty. Trainwreck is really original for Sarah in her vocal range and musical style. I also love Time(reminds of me of the Fumbling era) and Perfect Girl, but between Push, Drifting, Answer there are just too many really soft, albeit beautiful songs on the record.
Having grown up with Sarah and viewing her as an alternative, rock, folk, pop mesh I am confused as to the direction her career is embarking upon.Read more ›
My favourite songs are "Fallen" (the first single), "Stupid" (I love this one!), "World On Fire", and "Dirty Little Secret" (sounding very much like some of Tori Amos' slow songs! Amazing!).
If you like Sarah you'll love this album.
1.World On Fire: Wonderful lyrics that flow with such ease. This is a more pop like tune of hers I would say. This song isn't one of my favorite Sarah songs per se but it is on one of my playlists.
2.Drifting: This song really does make you feel like you are drifting. I think this is one of Sarah's gems & like many this song will last over time. I'm still playing it & can see myself always liking this song. It's one of those songs that I could fall asleep to (and not from boredom); her voice sounds so soothing. It made me realize that if she's hard up for writing material she should consider doing a CD of lullabies for all those frustrated new Mom's out there. It would be a welcome addition to the nursery. Anyway play this song & see if you don't just keep shuffling it on your MP3 folks!
3.Push: What a lyrically beautiful love song of acceptance & tolerance within the confines of a relationship. This is Sarah at her best.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Even though this cd only has 10 songs, it is one heck of a cd! Sarah's voice is stunning. I enjoyed the song Fallen so much. Read morePublished on Sept. 30 2006 by YancysMom
Some Cds take a while for me to really get into completely, but the first time I heard Afterglow I was totally into it. Sarah's songs are lyrical and memorable.Published on Sept. 12 2006 by J. Fischer
Now & then I fell this album teaches something.
So deep lyrics ain`t easy. But I love her&her style.
like a breeze just pass thru` me.
Sarah has done it again with another great collection of music. The first 5 songs are all hits to me. Read morePublished on Sept. 1 2004 by Jason Koulouras
Sarah's voice is incredible and I just can't get enough of this album. "Answer" is such an emotional song...it's my fave one on this record! Read morePublished on April 18 2004 by Sandra Butter
All of Sarah's albums have been my "favorites" and Fallen is just another one to add to that collection. She has the most beautiful voice I have ever heard in my life. Read morePublished on March 15 2004 by TKuzak
I will make it short and sweet. Maybe not the best of her album, but she keep impressing me with her voice. One of the few albums I own I can listen againg and again...Published on March 12 2004 by Patrick Boulanger
"Heaven bend to take my hand and lead me through the fire". What a great opening line, eh?! Never was a SM fan before this album. Read morePublished on March 5 2004 by Canuckfcuk
a long awaited album...this album may not have the flare and distinction that Surfacing has received but i gotta say that sarah still has it. Read morePublished on March 1 2004 by Currant7