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Shine On (Deluxe Edition)

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iTunes Review

Her father passed. She divorced her husband, split with her longtime manager and her longtime record label, and while she addresses things on “Song For My Father,” “Surrender and Certainty” and “Broken Heart,” Sarah McLachlan also offers up her most directly upbeat album to date. Producer Pierre Marchand is her one constant and he teams yet again to create the gentle shimmer that’s been a trademark of McLachlan’s sound since the beginning. Yet, McLachlan found time to work with hard rock producer Bob Rock (Metallica, Motley Crue) on two tracks, “Flesh and Blood” and “Love Beside Me” and the result isn’t heavy metal but a definite grandiosity that climaxes with a vocal choir and a melodramatic dynamic. A gentle piano moment such as “Beautiful Girl” reminds everyone of the young kid they first discovered. The Deluxe Version adds the piano tracks “What’s It Gonna Take” and “Little B” that continue this simple, straightforward vibe.

Customer Reviews

Misses the mark

It seems like Sarah's new album has two types of fans - those that "LOOOOOVE it" and would probably love anything Sarah put out without much thought, and those that seem to understand that the hype around this one being more like "Fumbling" has not been realized. The album really falls short of what we all know Sarah is capable of.

First, I too am a huge Sarah fan. Fumbling started it all, and I lived through the lows of Surfacing and the promising Laws of Illusion and Afterglow (both of which I feel are superior to Shine On in many ways).

I followed Sarah on Twitter/Facebook while this one was being worked on and knew this would either be a blockbuster album, or a mish mash of music thrown together that fails to impact my life in any way. I was saddened when I first heard each song and knew this was not what I had been hoping for. Perhaps Fumbling was really a one-time masterpiece that nothing will ever live up too. (my concert tickets are quickly going up on eBay)

Let me say I really hate having to give a bad review here. Sarah's music is so much a part of my life I want to just love it because I've become a huge fan... but I need to speak what I feel about this album in hopes that it shapes the next one.

Lets break each song down:

1. In Your Shoes: What is this, a song written for Disney? Bubble Gum pop with self-background vocals. Not a fan.
2. Flesh and Blood: Sounds like this one was written for Afterglow, so not bad. The mixing seems to fall flat.
3. Monsters: Makes me wish Sarah wasn't a mom. Album starts to take a turn toward bedtime music for kids. Kind of reminds me of an 80s song by Peter Cetera.
4. Broken Heart: Nora Jones much? K.D. Lang in the house? I like the echo of the guitar at points, but wish Sarah actually sang this song in her own voice.
5. Surrender and Certainty: I still feel like I'm stuck in a jazz club. At least her vocals are more haunting and less bubbly in this tune, but I just can't get past the feeling I should be in a dimly lit smoke filled bar with a bad martini gazing across the room at the harmonica player as if to say "stop it dude, you are so predictable"
6. Song for My Father: These types of targeted songs hook a certain kind of listener I guess. The song busts into that horrible drum and some oddly tuned electronic trumpet sound about half way through.
7. Turne the Lights Down Low: Starts out Fumbling-like, could have been on Laws of Illusion (maybe written around that time?) This one will grow on me. Its too bad I have to say that about any Sarah songs.
8. Love Beside Me: About this time I realize how much I don't like her band on this album. Overpowering her vocals with some odd doo-wap guitar and that drumming I'm now very tired of. I think without the bad mixing it would have had promise.
9. Brink of Destruction: More like it. Vocals, not too happy, piano, a distant echo of the guitar. Well done. This is a keeper. Wish the entire album was more like this.
10. Beautiful Girl: Whats this, two in a row? Too bad the best seemed to be saved for last. There is maybe just too much country in this one though.
11. The Sound That Love Makes: Gag. This one simply makes me mad. Come on Sarah, what has happened to you? Just when the album was turning a corner.
12. Whats It Gonna Take: Soft piano, clear vocals, nice. This is another keeper. Nicely done, too bad its on this album.
13. Little B: Um... yea... not a fan of lullaby music. Not much of a bonus track.

There you have it. 2.5-3 good songs and a bunch of other material that just doesn't live up to Sarah's talent.

Just so everyone know's I'm not out to just hate on this album, I'm going to digitally shelf it for now. (does anyone actually buy physical media anymore?) I'll dig it back out in October or November when I usually have Sarah on constant playlist. Maybe it will fit in better when we have a long cold winter ahead. I'll return if anything changes and update my review.

1 of the 90's queen is back

So glad to have Sarah back in the music stream! Just love her music. Down to earth and grounded

so disappointed!!!

WOW!! I am a MAJOR Sarah fan and I cannot believe how bland this album is!! What happened to her layered thought provoking …amazing instrumental music gone?There is not one memorable song here, This is 2 BAD albums in a row. I just can't believe it. Sorry Sarah….I still LOVE you!!


Born: January 28, 1968 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Since her debut in 1988, Sarah McLachlan's atmospheric folk-pop has gained a devoted following not only in her native Canada, where she established star status with her first album, but also in the U.S. and U.K. The following two decades saw her grow both as a musician and songwriter, continually redefining herself and emerging as a major voice in the growing adult alternative pop format. She also founded Lilith Fair, a concert tour that helped usher other female songwriters into the mainstream during...
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