It's been seven long years since Sarah McLachlan's last studio album Afterglow was released & at least for me, it's been quite a wait. Afterglow is an incredible album & although I must give Ms. McLachlan credit for tiding us over nicely, most notably with her 2006 Christmas album Wintersong, it's quite hard not to have something to follow it up for so long. Needless to say, when the release of her new album Laws Of Illusion was announced, it had a lot to live up to as far as I was concerned. Luckily though, Sarah is awfully consistent--a rare quality--so Laws Of Illusion did not (entirely) disappoint.
"Awakenings": A great way to start off the album. It sets the mood very well & sounds lovely. My only complaint is that the lyrics don't jump out at you (not immediately at least), a trend that seems to show up throughout the album. 4.5/5
"Illusions Of Bliss": While still good/of Sarah McLachlan quality, the acoustic guitar comes as a bit of a shock. It just doesn't fit as in with the laid back feel of the music I expect from her as most of the other songs. 4/5
"Loving You Is Easy": This one has grown on me a bit. I still don't love the stacatto piano, but I've come to appreciate the lighthearted mood of the song. 4/5
"Changes": A very nice album filler. 4.5/5
"Forgiveness": My favorite song on the album. It's got that signature Sarah sound & lyrics that are not only human, but also heartfelt, considering her love-related personal struggles. 5/5
"Rivers Of Love": Pretty. 4.5/5
"Love Come": Gorgeous! It's songs like this that give her albums that extra something special. 5/5
"Out Of Tune": Not my favorite--I can't decide if it's because it has to follow such a strong song or not--but good nonetheless. 4.5/5
"Heartbreak": Signature Sarah! A little cheesy lyrically, but I love the electronic effects. 4.5/5
"Don't Give Up On Us": You may have heard these next two tracks on Sarah's greatest hits album Closer already, but I'm glad she included them here so those of us who already own most of her material can still get the only new songs on the best of set. Not to mention that they're good too. 4.5/5
"U Want Me 2": Also a winner. (This one even has a video!) 4.5/5
"Bring On The Wonder": You can always count on a beautiful closer from her & this one's no different. Not quite "Dirty Little Secret" though. 4.5/5
The hidden track, a piano version of "Love Come", is just as gorgeous, if not more so, as the studio version & has me wondering why she doesn't just record all of her songs this way. That said, Laws Of Illusion is a wonderful album just the way it is. It has a lot of competition in Afterglow & unfortunately doesn't quite match its predecessor, but is still a lovely offering from the just-as-lovely Sarah McLachlan.
Rating: 4.5/5 Stars