Sarah McLachlan – Laws of Illusion

Sarah McLachlan‘s first record in over seven years comes with ten new songs, like her last album Afterglow. This record, however, is fattened up a bit with two of the new songs from her Best Of compilation from 2008 and an acoustic version of album track Love Come.

Sarah McLachlan - Laws Of Illusion

Cover of Laws Of Illusion by Sarah McLachlan

When comparing Laws Of Illusion to Sarah’s most recent album, there’s not a lot of change. After seven years, one might expect something new. Sarah’s gone through a divorce since then and the music industry itself has changed more in the last seven years than in any decade except maybe the 60s. So you might look at it one of two ways. Firstly, why bother putting forth the effort trying to get into Laws Of Illusion if you’ve already done Afterglow and have since moved on. Stick with the classic. On the other hand, it’s nice to know that Sarah hasn’t gone too far from what we know and love from her. With everything around us changing at break-neck speed, it’s almost comforting to know that Sarah will put out an album that we’ll already be comfortable with.

That in itself might be discomforting.

What has changed is the instrumental back-up itself. Specifically, the drums. Part of what made Sarah’s sound her own was the drums and percussion that carried her over her last three records, which eventually, was beginning to dullen her sound. The drum-work can effect the presentation of a song in a great manner. In the case of Sarah, not having ex-husband Ashwin Sood on drums has given her sound more confidence and while the songs themselves are typical of Sarah’s style, the presentation with Matt Chamberlain on drums opens her up to a lot of possibilities. Besides, it really was time for some change. Sarah’s music has opened up a window, now it’s time to knock down a wall!

Laws Of Illusion opens up with a promising first track on Awakenings. Throughout the album, there are some of Sarah’s signature hooks that made tracks like Adia, World On Fire, Train Wreck, Black And White, etc, classics. Love Come, Out Of Tune and Changes are all nice songs but it’s no wonder that this record hasn’t had the effect on the masses that Afterglow (over two and a half million copies sold), Surfacing (nearly ten million sold) and the albums before that had. This record makes little effort to stand out even just from her own catalogue so it stands to reason that it certainly won’t in comparison to other music currently being released.  With that said, if you’re a heavy duty Sarah McLachlan fan, Laws of Illusion is an essential addition to your library that you’ll be sure to be okay with. Two Stars

Tracklisting
1. Awakenings
2. Illusions Of Bliss
3. Loving You Is Easy
4. Changes
5. Forgiveness
6. Rivers Of Love
7. Love Come
8. Out Of Tune
9. Heartbreak
10. Don’t Give Up On Us
11. U Want Me 2
12. Bring On The Wonder
13. Love Come [Acoustic]

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