Sarah McLachlan is one of my main musical influences. People used to call me Kylie McLachlan :p Her music was a huge part of my childhood, as my mother & her friends would listen to her album "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" frequently. Basically my childhood consisted of music from The Eagles, Fleetwood Mac, & this woman. & to this day she is one of my favorites.
"Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" is not only my favorite album of Sarah's, but one of my favorite albums of all time. It's rare to find an album I can listen to straight through without skipping a single song, & this is one of those rare cases where every single song on the album is a precious jewel. The feeling of it is so haunting & emotional, & the style is unique to Sarah.
If I had to choose, my favorite songs from "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" would probably be "Possession" (based on a letter from a crazed fan), "Mary" (which i think is about about motherhood & growing old but many see a religious or environmental meaning), "Fear" (a unique ballad in which she hits crazy high notes), & of course "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" (the title track).
I love listening to this album straight through, especially the last two songs. Here's why: "Fear" is the trembling confession of a little girl who is afraid of love, stating "There's nothing I'd like better than to fall, but I fear I have nothing to give." & directly after that song appears a calm & focused grown woman on the beautiful title track, which states repeatedly "I won't fear love" finishing the album with hope. It's hard not to tear up listening to it.
It is this perfectly amazing placement of songs, combined with Sarah's beautiful voice & intricate compositions & harmonies, that make "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy one of the best albums of all time.
The magic doesn't stop there though. Sarah has released many more amazing albums since then, such as "Surfacing" & "Afterglow" & from these albums some more songs I adore, such as "Adia" & "Witness" from "Surfacing" & "Fallen" & "Stupid" from "Afterglow" but as beautiful & intense as these albums are, my favorite is still "Fumbling Towards Ecstasy" & it probably always will be.
Another great album, believe it or not, was the live album "Mirrorball" - I ran that album into the ground. In my opinion, the energy & composition of each song is even better live, which is difficult to find in an artist. Here are two songs from that album to prove it. From the Mirrorball DVD: