Afterglow Shines Bright
It seems like Sarah McLachlan can do no wrong. With three Grammys, a highly successful music festival as her brainchild (Lilith Fair), and an Elizabeth Cady Stanton Visionary Award for advancing the careers of women in music, Ms. McLachlan has proven herself as one of the outstanding female musicians today.With Afterglow, McLachlan’s first studio album in six years, she doesn’t move far from that selfsame success. What shows most on Afterglow is that bittersweet poetry that she has always excelled at. With lyrics mostly about confirming and giving up love, as well as the pain associated with it, she goes back to some similar themes. Five out of the ten tracks mention fire or burning, a theme she has used on past albums.
Having composed the entire album on piano rather than guitar, there is an apparent difference in style. Slower, moodier and more pensive, Afterglow is similar to the more somber side of her other studio work. It will probably become “that album” that is known as her return to playing music after the death of her mother and the birth of her daughter; a transitional album that shines as a catharsis for McLachlan and a glimpse of her thoughts over the past six years. It certainly presents itself as such, but luckily her talent makes this personal catharsis an interesting listen.