Sarah McLachlan - Surfacing 
Music Disc Reviews Audio CD
Written by Jason Karsh   
Tuesday, 15 July 1997

Sarah McLachlan

format: CD
label: Arista Records
performance: 7.5
sound: 8
reviewed by: Jason Karsh

Couple this, her fourth and most anticipated release, with the summer's highly successful Lilith Fair concert tour she spearheaded and you end up with a lot of critics describing Sarah McLachlan in myriad ways. Little hasn't been said, except for perhaps this. I believe that Sarah McLachlan is the single best singer/songwriter living today. Period. Male or female. Period. However, that said, it should be pointed out that while I am a fan of both her voice and work, as a reviewer I hold those select artists on another level to a much more stringent criteria than the also-rans.

The public has spent a considerable amount of time waiting for a new, full-length album from Canada's reigning lyrical goddess, and 'Surfacing' is slated to fill that bill. Unfortunately, just as soon as her voice is about to simultainously blow you away and tear out your heart, the album ends. To put it plainly, something's missing. There are ten tracks on 'Surfacing;' one a two minute instrumental, another the obligitory radio single, and another ('Full Of Grace') that devout fans will recognize from a B-sides album released last year. You do the math, there are really only seven new songs on this album. And while those cuts may be great--with maybe one substandard cut among them--less than forty minutes does not a full album manifest.

The reason for this brevity could be in this CD's 'enhanced' capability. A feature which makes the disc an interesting toy for your computer. But, even though the brief interview is an interesting segment (albeit, at the very least, semi-scripted), if I wanted a Sarah McLachlan interview I'd watch VH1 and if I wanted to buy her t-shirts and hats, I'd go to her web site or subsribe to her fan club newsletter. I don't want her mail-order catalog or her bio, I want the haunting brilliance of 'I Love You,' and 'Angel.' Basically, I want a full album.

For a normal artist this album is a nine, maybe a nine and a half. For the best, it's a seven, maybe a seven and a half.

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