Album Review: Sarah McLachlan - Closer: The Best Of Sarah McLachlan (2008)


Set 25 2011, 16:42

Sarah McLachlan - Closer: The Best of Sarah McLachlan

Actually this was the first album of Sarah McLachlan I listened to. I had a strong remembrance of hearing the song Adia somewhere back in 1998 and I still really loved this song. So that is why I bought this compilation album in January of last year (2010). I listened to it a lot while redecorating and painting my apartment and found out what a great album it is! It contains all of her 'greatest hits' and in my opinion these are also really the better songs, at least most of them. My version of this album contains 17 tracks and is packed in a digipak, instead of jewelcase. According to wikipedia this type of cardboard packaging is more wanted by 'fans' than the normal jewelcase, but I'm not sure yet if I agree with this statement. The packaging of this disc is quite simple. The cover is stylish, with Sarah walking on the beach in black and white. It looks like the end of her dress is kind of buried in the wet sand. On the inside the names of all tracks are printed, together with the names of the people who worked on them and some other production data. A kind of Chinese figures in golden brown on black are displayed on the background, very nicely done. What I miss is a booklet with the lyrics of all of the songs, but luckily they're all on the internet nowadays. As I understood it was difficult for her to choose the songs for this album. She wanted to make it a double CD, but the record company didn't agree with that. So she came up with the following selection. It's nice that the songs are actually chronologically ordered and in this way really describing her journey from the start in 1989 until 2008.

From her first album Touch it contains one song:
I don't own her first album and never listened to it, but this is a nice song.

Then from her second album Solace it contains two songs:
The Path of Thorns (Terms)
Into the Fire
These are two of my favourite songs of this album and they certainly belong on this best-of album. Another song which I would have added is Drawn to the Rhythm.

From Fumbling Towards Ecstasy three songs are added:
Hold On
Good Enough
Although I don't like all of the songs on this album, Possession and Good Enough are two of the best. Maybe Fumbling Towards Ecstasy could also have been added.

I see a kind of consistency as four tracks are added from her fourth album Surfacing:
Building a Mystery
Sweet Surrender
These are four songs I really love, especially Adia, but also the other three. They all belong on this album for sure!

Then from her live release Mirrorball one track is added:
I Will Remember You
This is a nice song, but not really special to me, like some of the other songs. But I understand why it is on the album, being one of her greatest hits.

From her album Afterglow it contains three songs:
World on Fire
All three of these songs are really great, three of her best songs.

Then the last three songs:
Don't Give Up on Us
U Want Me 2
Silence (Niels van Gogh vs. Thomas Gold Remix Radio Edit)

The first two are new songs and both were released as single. They are both about her divorce after 11 years of marriage and all of the pain and emotion involved with that. Of course it is always great when (some) new tracks are added to a best-of album. I never considered them very special compared to the rest of the album, but actually "U want Me 2" really grew on me. It reminds me of a situation in my personal life. The lyrics are very great, especially this part is beautiful:
So what are we saying?
Our Eden’s a failure
A made-up story to fit
A picture-perfect world
Nice fact is that the drummer on these two new tracks is actually Matt Chamberlain, who contributed on a lot of Tori Amos her albums. This is also a result of Sarah's divorce, because her ex-husband did the drums on all of her earlier albums. I think she couldn't make a better choice as Matt is a really great drummer and I really love what he did for Tori Amos, especially during live performances.
The last track is a remix and I don't really like it, but it was actually the only top-40 hit Sarah McLachlan ever had in the Netherlands.

Overall I must say that she made a really great choice with the songs on this album. It is a great album and it really contains her best and a lot of my favourite songs.

Best tracks: The Path of Thorns (Terms), Into the Fire, Possession, Good Enough, Building a Mystery, Sweet Surrender, Adia, Angel, Fallen, Stupid, World on Fire, U Want Me 2

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  • MustBeDreaming1

    what an unexpected choice for the 3rd review :-) i've even re-listened the album! though didn't find any more songs i liked... Sweet Surrender is still a masterpiece :-)

    Set 26 2011, 20:10
  • irisvanhoorn

    Yes, very unexpected ;-) But do you also know what would be my next review now? Sweet Surrender is great indeed!

    Set 28 2011, 4:38
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