Skip to main content

"Laws of Illusion" by Sarah McLachlan

Being a complete Sarah fanatic for a number of years, I was highly disappointed in myself when I logged into my MySpace page at the end of May and realized:
  1. Sarah McLachlan was releasing a new album and I was completely unaware.
  2. I had failed to "Like" her on Facebook, in which case #1 would never have happened.
  3. I still hate MySpace. Why do I still even have a MySpace profile??
In any event, once I got my hands on the album, I had to (as usual) trap hubby in the car with me to enforce listening. For the first time in our almost-seven-years together, however, the most shocking thing occurred. My husband, while listening to a Sarah McLachlan album for the first time, actually uttered the words, "this is really good." Typically, I play something ad nauseum, and he finally begins to like it, because it's that or complete insanity. Don't worry, he has to do the same with me on a fair amount of his music, too. (It took a week before I could actually handle The Addams Family: The Musical in its entirety.)

But enough about that. Let's talk about the album, shall we?

Sarah has had a rough few years, and it comes through clearly in the album. Many of the songs give a glimpse of her emotional state and she is unapologetic and unabashed about the honesty in this album. "Loving You is Easy" is one of the few happy songs on the album, which is fine by me, as my love of Sarah McLachlan's music has never been based on her more cheerful tunes (though "Loving" is catchy, and one that I catch myself singing a great deal).

Stylistically, the entire album sounds much more upbeat than any of her previous work, despite the bittersweet lyrics. The music feels more elaborate, and on "Awakenings," the opening track, there's a heavy dose of electronic. For some artists, adding so much background can result in a loss of vocal quality, but this album has been very well constructed to avoid that effect. Interestingly, the one thing "missing" from Laws of Illusion is her very characteristic style of flipping her voice from low notes to high (my husband refers to it as "yodeling" but this gives me visions of lederhosen, so I'll stick with "flipping"). While it's there in some of the songs, in most, she has opted for a much smoother vocal style.

My only complaint? The saw, heard throughout "Last Dance" on Surfacing, makes a repeat appearance in the song "Changes" and it seriously bugs me. I've never liked the saw as a musical instrument, and while I (clearly) worship the ground Ms. McLachlan sings over, I just can't make an exception.

$12.99 for the Deluxe Version on iTunes, $19.99 at Borders, and at this writing $12.37 at Go on, you know you want it...

Popular posts from this blog

It's Not About the Guns

Fifteen years ago, my mom and I had an interesting discussion about the repercussions of being out. I came out the year before, just before graduating high school, and in the intervening time, had come out to my brother, my grandparents, my co-workers, my friends. Mom and I had danced around the topic a lot, but after my initial coming-out conversations with her, we'd essentially swept it under the rug. When things finally came to a head, I asked her why. Why, of all people, could I not talk to her about this topic?

"Because there are mean people in this world. There are people who will want to hurt you because of who you are, and who you love, and that scares me."

I took a minute to digest this information. "You work at a bank. If someone robs that bank tomorrow, and decides you're not moving fast enough for them, they could shoot and kill you, and it wouldn't matter to them that you are married, or that you have two sons at home. I could be afraid of what …

Waiting by the Door

Trigger warning: bipolar disorder, mania, depression, self-harm
“I’m tired of feeling sad.” He says it as you are both eating breakfast, his expression drained of life. It has been three days of this, and you know, despite what you may be hoping, that it is far from over. It started a couple weeks ago, not with sadness, but what a psychologist calls, “hypomania.”

Talking about Fitness

I am five feet, eight inches tall, and I weigh about 167 pounds. I have a gym membership which I have used a total of once in the past six months, and I don't eat particularly well, nor particularly consistently. I drink fairly regularly, and in December I even started smoking cigarettes (I know, I know). All things considered, I am in pretty good shape, for a 30-year-old man who does nothing to take care of his body. The funny thing is, any time I start to talk about changing my habits for the better, I almost universally get the same responses. "Ugh. Like you need to lose any weight." "Oh, you look fine. What are you worried about?" "You know, if you start working out, you're not necessarily going to weigh less, because muscle weighs more than fat."

Okay, guys. It seems there are a few things I need to explain about my mentality here.