Even a snooze-inducing McLachlan record can be a pleasant experience.
The Canadian chanteuse Sarah McLachlan uses each album to chronicle a different life phase. Where her previous release – 2010’s Laws of Illusion – laid bare her divorce, her new seventh album, Shine On, is a brighter affair hinting at resolution and new beginnings.
McLachlan fans know the 46-year-old singer-songwriter enjoys rocking out during concerts and Shine On is the closest she gets to channelling that live energy.
The opener In Your Shoes is a delightful pop-rock number; the rousing female anthem (“leave it all behind and move on / you are your own woman”) is one of McLachlan’s most direct songs, with a chorus tailor-made for radio. The amps are also turned up in Flesh and Blood. Its driving guitar riff is perhaps the loudest sound McLachlan has achieved on record.
Casual listeners shouldn’t fret – those signature piano ballads are still here. Broken Heart is a tender waltz while the romantic Surrender and Certainty benefits from a swooning horn section.
Shine On sags towards the end as it closes with three back-to-back ballads. That said, even a snooze-inducing McLachlan record can be a pleasant experience.