Half Notes: Sarah McLachlan – Afterglow (2003)

by Tom Johnson

Sarah McLachlan’s angelic voice is reason enough to check out this new album. It’s certainly not to hear anything particularly new: Afterglow was just more of what Sarah does so well. The most powerful segments of the album arrived early on, with the more up-tempo material providing more reason for returning repeatedly, as the ballads often came across less meaningful and with less impact than would be expected. The production is what enticed me immediately — deep and dramatic with strong vocals over a driving rhythm section powered by her husband, drummer Ashwin Sood, and emotive basslines from the man, Tony Levin. Unfortunately, many songs are marred by whispy, distracting electronic noises that are entirely unnecessary and sound like a desperate attempt to make the music sound more modern. The result, sadly, is that some songs simply sound more new-age oriented.

‘Half Notes’ are quick-take thoughts on music from Something Else! Reviews, presented whenever the mood strikes us.

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Tom Johnson

Tom Johnson has contributed to Blogcritics, and maintained a series of stand-alone sites including Known Johnson, Everything is a Mess and others. He studied both creative writing and then studio art at Arizona State. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.