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End of the Summer
Razor and Tie
· Two tremendously talented female singer / songwriters release thoughtful and provocative CDs.
· Dar pays another visit to Calgary this weekend at the Folk Festival while Sarah rolls through town later in August with her much talked about Lilith Fair. Go see both.
Why be angry all the time when you can just be? Experiencing life on every level and sharing your ups and downs with people who can still feel anything other than numb. #
For too many people, and in the music industry (for far too many women), the path to success is angst and bitterness; a lack of hope and a twinkle in the eye lights the way to an arbitrary millennium and a notable career.
# But there is hope. Sarah McLachlan and Dar Williams are two young musicians who realize diaries are for all emotions and not just for poison pen therapy. Both artists have just released albums that offer varying snapshots inside of the primate house in the human zoo instead of the static view from behind bars that we've come to expect. And for that, much thanks.
McLachlan, Canada's wisest, most honest and consistently poignant voice in contemporary pop music, has blossomed before our very ears. Over the course of her life, she's fumbled, fallen and matured, always welcoming us along for the ride. Her latest album Surfacing swallows every sensation and warms it inside before planting it tenderly on our cheeks and lips. "I Love You," a dubby thing of ambient beauty, is arguably Sarah's finest recorded moment and the closing weeping instrumental, "Last Dance," is so final yet intensely everlasting that the only way forward is to go back to the beginning. And you will.
On End of the Summer, the deceptively world-wise Dar Williams remains folk music's anti-Ani. Where Difranco spits and sneers, Williams cocks her head and muses articulately. She's an acoustic, storytelling troubadour with AM pop sensibility and her music fittingly illustrates that contradiction. The haunting, dow-eyed defiance of "Are You Out There" and the hip, been-there advice of "Teenagers Kick Our Butts" are countered with the melancholic nostalgia of the title track and the heartfelt Hallmark card that is "Better Things."#
True, the one complaint for both albums is that neither woman is pushing the world's perception beyond where we know they've musically been before. But then again, why dwell on the negatives when someone is offering you a whole lot more?
Sarah McLachlan 4/5
Dar Williams 4/5
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