Sarah McLachlan: Laws of Illusion
Sarah McLachlan’s Laws of Illusion is her first studio album of new material in seven years. Upon hearing the first song “Awakenings,” her fans will feel like an old friend-one with a soothing and instantly recognizable voice-and has come back into their lives. Even though we don’t hear from Sarah McLachlan very often, it’s as if she never left and her return is always welcomed and worth the wait.
The thing about Laws of Illusion though, is that it could’ve easily been released in the late 1990s; very little has changed about McLachlan’s style of songs and their delivery. But that’s okay with Sarah lovers, of which there are many.
Critics would say that musicians should show musical growth with each new release; however, with McLachlan, it seems that her own personal growth-tackling and recovering from life’s downs-is what motivates her to move us so directly and seemingly without effort. And that’s what a music lover wants from a listening experience-to be moved by someone’s voice or a songs’ instrumentation. McLachlan still has a skillful sense of song construction and a haunting, yet soothing, voice. And that’s we love about her.
On Laws of Illusion, her voice is as strong as ever, and the album, like all her albums, will grow on you with every listen. There are several standout tunes; “Awakenings” is a great starter and the song that follows, “Illusions of Bliss,” has more acoustic guitar than keys-a bit uncommon for a McLachlan tune-and it’s quite refreshing to hear it here. “Loving You Is Easy” is peppy and catchy, and as close to a pop song as we’ve heard from Sarah. With its heavy banging on the piano, it’s the happiest tune of this set. (Watch the video below.) “U Want Me 2” and “Bring on the Wonder” are nice closers.
“Forgiveness” has the strongest lyrics, including the lines: “You ask for forgiveness, you’re asking too much. I have sheltered my heart in a place you can’t touch…I don’t want your deceiving smile standing at my door.” After hearing this one, you’ll hit the repeat button. This is the break-up song of this album.
Laws of Illusion is another strong collection from McLachlan.
Welcome back, Sarah! Please don’t keep us waiting another seven years; we need your familiar and soothing voice.