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Amazon's Sarah McLachlan Store


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Forgiveness Live In Studio


Sarah McLachlan
Shine On

One day, not that long ago, Sarah McLachlan gave an advance copy of her new album Shine On to a friend who was about to set out on a road trip. "She said she listened to it on repeat throughout the whole drive; she laughed, she cried, she sang at the top of her lungs, and went through the gamut of emotions." McLachlan says. "That seemed like the ... Read more in Amazon's Sarah McLachlan Store

Visit Amazon's Sarah McLachlan Store
for 99 albums, 18 photos, 3 videos, and 7 full streaming songs.

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Afterglow + Laws Of Illusion + Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 4, 2003)
  • Original Release Date: 2003
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Arista
  • ASIN: B0000C6E4D
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (593 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,881 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Fallen
2. World on Fire
3. Stupid
4. Drifting
5. Train Wreck
6. Push
7. Answer
8. Time
9. Perfect Girl
10. Dirty Little Secret

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

"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

Customer Reviews

Sarah's beautiful voice is wonderful, as usual.
Amazon Customer
The first time I listened to it I wasn't sure I was going to take to it as much as past albums but the more I listen, the more I love it.
The blandness of this album, not the songs or prettiness, unfortunately stands out too prominently here.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

143 of 154 people found the following review helpful By Eric Whitehead on November 10, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I have to admit,,When I first listen to this cd, I felt a bit dissapointed...the songs all seemed soft and slow. Nothing seemed to be easily accessible, with the Fallen being an exception.. But after listening, I discovered more to this whole album. Yes, this is different than her previous, but that is good! Change is good, and these songs show a maturity that some artist never aquire. I hate buying a new cd from an artist I enjoy and it sounds the same. These songs are all beautiful and now I love this album. The title Afterglow is apt, for these songs leave a warm, quiet feeling in your soul. Don't give up on this one just because it takes some time to enjoy. Best songs, in my opinion, World on Fire, Stupid and Time. Though I could find something to love on each song
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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 6, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I tell you what it is. People are judging this record according to their expectations. Such expectations are set up sky high that it becomes really impossible for Sarah or any artist for that matter to attain. People are expecting perfection all the time from her. Well, guess what? She's only human.
For me, I hear Afterglow and what I find is a collection of beautifully crafted songs, as we have come to expect from Sarah. Which brings to mind another problem: the music climate has changed so much that what is considered "good" music now is anything that's really loud ie rock, recycled crap ie rap and karaoke singers seems to be the height of music culture right now. Any female worth much in the industry has to at least take her clothes off in a video and show some skin in order to get attention. Anything else that doesn't fit into these narrowly-focused "rock-n-roll" ideals fall short in people's eyes.
Sarah has chosen to stay true to herself and made a record that is meaningful and emotionally-satisfying. It is quiet and low-key but it has been said that the most powerful moments can be found in silences and quietness is the loudest roar. She has chosen to disregard all music trends and fads and creates music that is relevant enough in current times yet sound timeless in its appeal. Contrary to what some reviewers have posted here, all the songs are very much varied in sound and not "samey" at all.
Open you ears to Fallen and hear the open regret, the fatalistic hopeless feeling that a mistake made can never be corrected brings. Read the lyrics in World on Fire and tell me that that is not one of the best songs ever written about the post 911 world? People say she doesn't rock, well please hear Stupid!
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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful By "oshyboshy" on November 4, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Sarah McLachlan's gorgeous, luscious voice is once again the centrepiece in her work. Despite most of the material being written well before life-changing events such as her mother's death and the birth of her daughter, the songs on this album are just about that -- life, death, and all the messy things in-between. Sarah's pacing and style, as always, are acquired tastes... she wraps her voice around you like a warm blanket in "Answer"; at other times, she glides coolly and effortlessly, as a glacier would over tundra, setting up an introspective mood.
Overall, the sound record to me seems to be a combination of her last three albums proper; there are the requisite Surfacing era piano-based ballads in "Answer," and "Dirty Little Secret," the Solace era melodies in "Drifting,' and the verses of 'Stupid', the Fumbling Towards Ecstasy textures and lyrical depth in "World on Fire," (mostly written by her producer Pierre Marchand) "Stupid," and the fantastic "Dirty Little Secret."
I like 9 out of the 10 songs, which, in my books, is no small feat for any artist to accomplish. "Drifing," is the only song that I'm indifferent about, but that might change after time.
Some highlights upon first listen:
"Fallen," the lead single, is about the irrevocable mistakes we make in our lives that force us to wallow within, and then move on. In terms of sound, it's reminiscent of "Building A Mystery," from her last album, Surfacing.
"World on Fire," is a beautiful song about ugliness. Being the only song written after her mother's passing and her daughter's birth, its subject matter is the reconciliation of innocence with chaos in our post 9/11 world.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By David on November 7, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I came to this site to check out the "official" reviews of the album, to see if they're consistent with my opinion. But I am alarmed at the "disappointment" of the early fan reviews. Can we get some order in here?
First of all, yes, I am a HUGE Sarah fan, since seeing her on TV in the wee hours of New Year's morn of '98. Since then I have heard all of her full-length releases (I own all but "Freedom.." and "Touch"). Is this as good as her proverbial best, "Fumbling Towards Ecstacy"? Of course not..I got hooked via "Surfacing", which in my opinion is even behind "Solace" in a list of her works. But, after enough listenings to tick off my 11-yr old, I think that "Afterglow" is at the same level as the CD that introduced me to her.
The "diss"appointed fans of the early reviews are revealing something about "Afterglow", and that is the fact that it is more piano-driven. I read somewhere it was the first album for which she penned the songs at the piano as opposed to the guitar, and it comes out. The songs are softer, perhaps a bit somber (it doesn't mean much, but there's no "Sweet Surrender" here). But my worse fears of Sarah becoming Enya were fortunately unfounded, and it's nowhere near a change in direction as evidenced by Jewel (not hating..I like "0304") or Liz Phair. She sat down with a different instrument, and it shows.
So..let's give the CD a few more listenings, we current owners. And as for you on the bubble, go to your nearest record store (not Wal-Mart!), and get it. The standouts do indeed include "Fallen" (I love it more since hearing the CD), and "Stupid", which is deceptively calm until it gets to the chorus.
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