Afterglow - Sarah McLachlan
Afterglow Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 11 Critics What's this?

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 33 Ratings

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  • Summary: The Canadian singer-songwriter emerges from a period of inactivity with her first album of new material since 1997's 'Surfacing.' Frequent collaborator Pierre Marchand returns as producer.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 11
  2. Negative: 2 out of 11
  1. 80
    It’s gorgeous, moving and magnificent.
  2. While there's nothing approaching the memorable hook of Solace's "Into the Fire" or the stalking menace underlying Fumbling Towards Ecstasy's "Possession," Afterglow stays true to McLachlan's impeccably designed songcraft and keen sense of melody.
  3. 70
    It's quite a feat: crushing, weighty themes conveyed via music that floats in a netherworld a few steps off the ground. [Dec 2003, p.144]
  4. McLachlan's gorgeous voice has always been her strength, and even Pierre Marchand's soft-rock production can't diminish its power. [Mar 2004, p.107]
  5. Eventually the piano-based songs grow repetitive, while retaining their lush romanticism.
  6. Some may call that predictable, some may call it reliable, but there's little arguing that Afterglow is a solid effort -- it won't win new fans, but it will certainly satisfy the old ones.
  7. 20
    A vapid yet relentlessly self-regarding solemnity prevails. [Feb 2004, p.95]

See all 11 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. CapnFoo
    Nov 23, 2006
    This is the first mclachlan cd I got, and so far none of her other albums I have acquired since then have matched it. My rating is not based on her other cd's so I give it a 10 Expand
  2. JohnO
    Jan 7, 2005
    I rate things thusly: If I can only stand to listen to it once, it gets a one. So the Killer albumn I listened to on repeat for five times and then forgot about the rest of the year got a 5. I've probably listened to this 20 time- but 10 is as high as it goes. Easily worth the money. Expand
  3. LindaA
    Nov 10, 2003
    Beautiful! No matter what the critics say this one definitely doesn't fail to please. McLachlan continues to heal the world with her beatiful music. Expand
  4. NateC
    Jan 29, 2006
    Never heard of Sarah until "Fallen". Went and bought Afterglow album, and I love it. Fallen, World on Fire and Dirty Little Secret are 5 star tunes. Amazing voice. This album really got to me, after 2 family deaths was ideal comfort. Expand
  5. MikeB
    Jan 8, 2005
    Not only is it beautiful, romantic and moving. But its one of the better female albums from the last five years, even if the tracks are a bit samey - they are so well done that you dont care Expand
  6. markyj
    Nov 19, 2003
    I don't think this has the mass appeal of her other records but it is magically crafted. Every song on this cd is a musical masterpiece. That being said some of the delivery and the lyrics tend to be a bit boring. Expand
  7. ChristineR
    Nov 4, 2003
    Afterglow is BORING! With 6 years between albums, you'd think Sarah would've evolved somewhat, but she's just sticking to the same old sound. I wouldn't mind, if her songs were as catchy as they used to be. But they're not. After a few listens all that got stuck in my head was the chorus to "Trainwreck". That's really sad considering how quickly she gets to the chorus of EVERY song, and how often the chorus is repeated. Her lyrics are embarrassingly clumsy and more vague and meaningless than usual. There's no real variety in music or tempo throughout the album, which might be why nothing stands out. Her vocals are consistently low and monotonous. Afterglow definitely doesn't showcase her full range, as a singer or a songwriter. Or maybe she's lost it. Hey, Sarah's said in interviews that she thought these songs were crap...until Her People convinced her otherwise. They were probably just happy to get *anything* new from this far-from-prolific songwriter. And I bet lots of fans will feel that way too. But not me. Let's face it, Sarah's run out of ideas, she's got nothing to *say*, and she's playing it safe and taking it easy now. Expand

See all 22 User Reviews