MUSIC: Glimmers of Ecstasy

Sarah McLachlan writes songs from love's ragged edges

Beneath the placid surfaces of Sarah McLachlan's songs runs an emotional torrent. As her piano and lonesome guitar sketch folk-rock tunes of elegant simplicity, McLachlan sings vivid tales of love gone wrong, of troubled souls grappling with infatuation, rejection and other extreme conditions of the heart. On Circle, a cut from her gorgeous new album Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, McLachlan captures the fractured hopes of a love affair headed south: "What kind of love is this that keeps me hanging on/ Despite everything it's doing to me?" In Possession she sings of a love that has crossed into obsession: "My body aches...

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