Image © Nettwerk Productions 2003
(18 January 2004) It has been six years since Sarah
McLachlan's last album, and Afterglow (Nettwerk
(Canada) 0 6700 30332 2 0, 2003) has been worth
waiting for from this very talented songstress. The
album is filled with lush tones and soothing melodies.
While this CD differs from her previous album,
Surfacing, its songs elicit the sensitive transitions
that Sarah has made in her life due to the tragic loss
of her mother from cancer and the joyful birth of her
Although the album contains only ten short tracks,
Sarah's beautiful, soaring vocals stand out amidst the
mellow tunes she's created. According to the singer,
"A lot of these songs are about transition ... the turning
over of the rock, what's underneath, the murky, shadowy
uncertainty where everything looks very different."
The first track is "Fallen," a philosophical, insightful
look within the artist's thoughts. There is a warmth
and purity throughout, showcasing the beautiful
harmonies. Her next song, "World on Fire" is the only
writing collaboration on this album with Pierre Marchand,
although he plays an integral part as producer, engineer
and mixer on the entire album. All the songs
were recorded at Marchand’s home studio in Montreal
or at McLachlan's home studio in Vancouver.
"Drifting" changes the tone of the previous tracks
with a more carefree melody reflecting the mood of the
song. This buoyancy continues into "Train Wreck" with
Sarah's melodious tones creating the laid-back but rich
aura of her music. Her state of mind while writing this
album continues throughout, reflecting in her tranquil
melodies and reflective lyrics. "Push" creates a
seductive mood with the love-inspired lyrics,
accompanied by Bill Dillon playing the church organ,
Tony Levin on bass, Jorane on cello, and Ashwin Sood
"Answer" comes along with a delicate whispering
tone that sets the atmosphere of introspection and
determination in her acoustic music aided by Jimmy
Creegan on acoustic bass and Sarah's sensitive lyrics.
This song is one of Sarah’s favorites, "It's a total 'two
o'clock in the morning, whispered in your ears'
headphone track. That's always been my thing,
feeling the very essence of a song. I have to be
able to break it down and still feel its
strength acoustically on piano or guitar. If the
essence is strong, you can do whatever you
want with it, it'll still be good. "
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Afterglow presents a rich tapestry of
musical feelings drawn from this artist's life experiences.
The poignant lyrics and the wonderful melodic
harmonizations bring this series of songs to life.
The emotions brought to the surface through
Sarah's lush vocals will gratify and comfort her