Home Read Classic Album Review: Sarah McLachlan | Afterglow

Classic Album Review: Sarah McLachlan | Afterglow

The singer-songwriter walks the fine line between consistency and complacency.

This came out in 2003 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


It has been six years since Sarah McLachlan’s last studio set Surfacing. In that time, she a) went from a beloved cult figure to an international star; b) masterminded several hugely successful Lilith Fair tours; c) had a baby; d) lost her mother.

After that string of life-changing events, you might expect McLachlan’s music would be affected at least somewhat. But no. Afterglow, her fifth studio album, could easily consist of outtakes from the Surfacing sessions. The tragic sweeping balladry, the slow-motion dream-pop swirls, the candlelight-and-incense moodiness, the sombre introspection — you’ve heard it all before. Granted, McLachlan’s angelic voice is still at the height of its powers, and most of these songs are every bit as good as anything she’s done in the past. Still, despite her admirable consistency, even a slightly discriminating fan can’t help but feel deja vu all over again after listening to this. So much for the Afterglow.


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