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Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
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Let me just say that once I heard this album, I was completely sold. Sarah's angelic vocals warmed me from the inside and enveloped me in a trance, and in that moment I knew I had to own her entire back catalogue. Released in 1994, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy was the third studio album from Sarah after her debut "Touch" and the sophomore set Solace. Sarah was still a fairly unknown with the release of this third album, but since its 1994 release it has gone on to become a masterpiece of the decade and touched millions with its beautiful lyrics, gorgeous vocals and soothing harmonies.
The album opens with the beautiful and sly "Possession." This song is trademark McLachlan and still one of her most popular songs. The song is a real life encounter that Sarah experienced of a stalker who constantly sent her letters.Read more ›
The first of Sarah's songs I heard was "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" on the soundtrack to an episode of Due South (thank you Paul Haggis!) and I was immediately smitten, resolving to buy the CD immediately. That's not so easy when you can't elicit the title from the lyrics but thanks to repeats and VCRs I was finally able to put a name to the voice. This album, depending on how you look at it, is the best or the worst way to be introduced to her music. Best in that it's a tour-de-force of songwriting, performance and passion on her part and worst in that it does rather spoil you for her other albums, none of which come close to the stunning impact of this one IMO.
"Possession" and the titular song are, unquestionably, the finest songs on the album and they vie for the top spot in my affections. "Wait", "Good Enough", "Hold On" and "Ice Cream" are almost as good. "Fear" is the most individual track with a haunting air and moving lyrics and serves as a wonderful lead-in to "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy". For me this is Sarah's most consistent and wonderful album and will always remain a favourite companion.
If you're lucky enough to get the non-US version of the CD it should include a bonus track (in addition to the hidden version of "Possession" tacked on at the end of track 12), a cover of Joni Mitchell's "Blue". It's strange to hear Sarah's voice singing Joni's words but it works and I've grown to love it almost as much as Sarah's own songs.
It's impossible to choose favorites on a disk like this, because all of the songs are unique and beautiful in their own way. Still, certain songs are so hauntingly lovely that they deserve a special mention: "Hold On", "Elsewhere", "Ice", "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy", "Fear", and the hidden track, a piano version of "Possession", stick out in my mind as masterpieces by this wonderful artist. The last two tracks I mentioned in particular have an elusive quality of lucid, haunting beauty that strikes me to the core each time I hear them. They are truly stirring in a way that can only be experienced, not described.
This is no ordinary album, and it's one that you simply can't afford to miss. If you don't own it, what the heck are you waiting for! Get it right away... no CD collection should overlook this priceless gem.
If you do not already on these, you have been missing out. Fumbling Towards Ecstasy has the song that propelled Sarah into prominence, and of course is Possession. The entire CD is great, but rather than rehash what so many others have already said so well would point you to the reviews on the page from the link above. The same can be said for The Freedom Sessions. There's less information on the DVD as I'm not sure if the product Amazon has marked as a 2005 release is indeed the same as what's offered here. However, there are a few songs on the DVD from prior CDs, and all of the performances have the subtle nuances that you would expect in a live performance. It is not a simple recreation of the studio edition on the stage.
The one thing that would have been nice to add would be Sarah's reflections today on the CD that made her the raging success she is today. However this is consistent with what she has done for many years in favoring repackaging of previous work (remixes, live, etc.) over new. For new fans this will be a great pickup, but longtime fans won't find anything new.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
As a new Sarah McLachlan fan, I have only recently listened to the whole album. I think I don't need to praise Sarah's voice and the musical quality of the album because that has... Read morePublished 6 days ago by Aadil Ahmed
I love Sarah McLachlan's voice but these songs just didn't do it for me.Published 4 months ago by Cookie
I've been listening to music for almost all of my soon to be 68 years. Love the Beatles, particularly Lennon. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Andrew J. Edenbaum
Brilliant. Her masterpiece. Holds its own over time and still sounds fresh. I cannot believe it's been over 22 years. Still causes so much emotion listening to it. Read morePublished 8 months ago by William P fuller
I was looking for a few talented female artists who were producing folksy, easy listening music and came across Sarah MacLachlan's name and after listening to a few of the MP3... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Nix
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