|Various Artists - Lilith Fair: A Celebration of Women in Music 2 and 3|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Jason Karsh|
|Tuesday, 18 May 1999|
After the first Lilith Fair album, it seems the producers have learned at least two lessons. One, there is a market for more than just a double album, and two, recording quality matters. Last time out, perhaps because they weren’t planning on releasing as much as they did, the recording quality on the first Lilith release was suspect on more than one number. Thankfully, here, it is much better. Still, both these albums are little more than a step above average in the content category.
The superior of the two is easily Volume 2. Sinead O’Connor’s live version of "Fire On Babylon" leads off and sets a high standard, but most that follows measures up well. Including Morcheeba’s "The Sea," as well as the Cowboy Junkies’ "Miles From Our Home," this album showcases a number of artists who truly benefit from a live setting. Also, Volume 2 features the two most inspired songs on either album. Natalie Merchant’s version of "In The Ghetto," and Sarah McLachlan’s "Angel" with Emmylou Harris are reason enough to buy this disc. Unlike Volume 3, this album truly provides those irreplaceable moments you look for in a live album. Also, even though more unknown artists are included on this disc than are on the next installment, most of them work well here.
Volume 3 also suffers in that a couple of bands simply don’t translate well to a live setting, most noticeably Sixpence None The Richer ("Kiss Me"). Sarah McLachlan ("Black & White") and the Indigo Girls ("Get Out The Map"), both of whom rarely if ever falter live, do their best to buoy this album, but it’s not enough. Luscious Jackson, Liz Phair, Suzanne Vega, and Bonnie Raitt are also featured on this disc, but we suggest Volume 2 in a landslide.