For some reason, I recently started thinking about my
stages of listening to Sarah McLachlan. It has been an odd roller coaster ride moving from disdain to love to virtual irrelevance.
In the mid 90s, my girlfriend gave me the worst possible introduction to Sarah's music. The GF basically told me that she was
justified in being a selfish ass because of a Sarah M. lyric. What the %*@^? It didn't make sense but it did leave me with a sour impression of Sarah M. (As well as with the soon to be ex-GF!) I had no interest in finding anything more about this music.
Yet, the very first time I listened to Fumbling Towards Ecstasy I was blown away. Discovering the album was actually just a happy accident. My roomie at the time
came home and started playing the album, not noticing that I was napping. I woke up pissed at his thoughtlessness but it only took a couple songs for me to forgive him entirely. (Thanks, EZ.) In fact, it wasn’t long before I came to love Sarah McLachlan!
That voice! Those lyrics!
In 97, my girlfriend Gwen and I saw Sarah @Lilith Fair in Vancouver and it remains one of the best concert experiences I’ve
ever had. For awhile, listening to Sarah's albums became a kind of default for us. If we couldn't quickly decide on what music to play, we went to the well of McLachlan. In fact, her Surfacing album was the first joint purchase Gwen and I ever
But now it’s been ten
years since her album Afterglow, the last one I bought. Now, I mostly think about Sarah McLachlan in conjunction with the horrifying ASPCA commercials that feature the song "Angel" and prompt everyone in my house to race for the remote control. At this point, Sarah may as well be Frankie Beverley and
Maze for me. It's great music that belongs strictly to my past. There's just no
resonance to my current life.
But on those rare occasions when I decide to listen to "Mary", "I Will Not Forget You" or "Fallen", I smile at both the songs and at the past.