The Analogue Productions/QRP pressing reissue treatment delivers sonics and luxury packaging second to none for discerning collectors. Now we've given three titles by Canadian songstress Sarah McLachlan this premier makeover and you reap the benefits: "Solace", "Mirrorball" and "Afterglow". Each on 45rpm LP and Hybrid SACD. "Solace", McLachlan's second album, is considerably more mature and musically sophisticated than her 1988 debut, the promising if limited "Touch". In fact, this disc is a must-have for McLachlan fans whose first encounter with her work was with her extremely popular later releases, "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" and "Surfacing". The opening track, "Drawn To The Rhythm", is a habit-forming gem of a song that soars on her smooth and heady soprano and Ronald Jones's addictive drums (though the drone of the billatron in the chorus seems incongruous). The rumbling, electric "Into The Fire" grooves with a funky bass line; the lovelorn "Path Of Thorns" and "I Will Not Forget You" are straight-ahead and bluesy. Always wise beyond her years, McLachlan displays a new awakening with introspective songs such as the Sinead O'Connor-esque "Lost" and "Shelter". The hymnlike "Mercy" is the least interesting song — spare in comparison to the others — but it is a wondrous showcase of her multifaceted voice. Without a doubt, "Solace" is a testament to McLachlan's ever-swelling talent.
Sarah McLachlan: Solace (45rpm,-edition)
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