There are artists that folks just can't get enough of
that have such a depth of feeling in their music that fans want
every piece of music that person has ever had their hands in.
Well, Sarah McLachlan fans rejoice! Her Canadian lordship
has just released the second volume of her Rarities, B-Sides,
And Other Stuff. Volume 2 follows a great collection
in Volume 1 that featured a ton of great music which tended
more towards the obscure and deep fan-desired material. The second
volume caters more towards her mainstream fandom and features
tracks with amazing guests, as well as tracks used in movies and
specific projects. McLachlan's cover of The Beatles' "Blackbird"
is stunningly beautiful - simple, clean, crisp, dreamy, yet succinct.
This is possibly one of the nicest versions of one of the nicest
Beatles' songs ever recorded. Sarah touches on Joni Mitchell's
"River" and duets with Cyndi Lauper on the latter's
"Time After Time", which is relaxed and mainly acoustic,
a far cry from the pseudo-rock original from 1980-whatever. "When
She Loved Me", the heartbreaking ballad from Toy Story
2, is included here, lending a weightiness to the compilation
before it opens up to duets with Brian Adams and DMC
and a stunning version of "Angel", recorded live
on piano at the Lilith Fair and featuring guest vocals by the
incomparable Emmylou Harris. McLachlan joins Sweden's wonderfully
epic rock band The Perishers for a version of their "Pills"
recorded live and filled with a subtle, sincere power that few
live recordings ably convey. Ladysmith Black Mambazo and
McLachlan team up for a version of Paul Simon's "Homeless"
that radiates an earthy joy and depth. The compilation winds up
with some great downbeat tracks like McLachlan's superbly produced
adaptation of the traditional "Prayer Of St. Francis"
and her unique take on Kermit the Frog's "The Rainbow
Connection." She records the classic "Unchained Melody"
in a weirdly off-center way and joins the amazing Delerium
on a remix of "Silence" that ends the album with a slightly
upbeat, four-on-the-floor breathiness. But possibly the greatest
track on the entire record is the beautifully haunting "Ordinary
Miracle" that leads off the collection. This is probably
one of the best McLachlan-penned tracks of all time, loaded with
emotion and subtle truths. Beautiful.
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