Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

4.1 15
by Sarah McLachlan
     
 

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Although 1991's Solace made Sarah McLachlan a star in Canada, her international breakthrough arrived two years later with Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, a softly assured album that combined the atmospheric production of Pierre Marchand (a former apprentice -- and evident disciple -- of Daniel Lanois) with some of McLachlan's…  See more details below

Overview

Although 1991's Solace made Sarah McLachlan a star in Canada, her international breakthrough arrived two years later with Fumbling Towards Ecstasy, a softly assured album that combined the atmospheric production of Pierre Marchand (a former apprentice -- and evident disciple -- of Daniel Lanois) with some of McLachlan's strongest songwriting to date. At the center of everything was her voice, an ethereal, lilting soprano that helped pave the way for Paula Cole, Lillith Fair, and a decade's worth of successful female songwriters. McLachlan utilized the crack between her chest and head voice, emphasizing the changing tones as her melodies climbed into the vocal stratosphere. She was also comparatively young at the time of Ecstasy's release, and her combination of vocal hooks and commercial appeal wouldn't be fully mastered until 1997's Surfacing. Even so, McLachlan's work was rarely as raw or honest as it is on this record, where tales of sin, lust, and love are delivered alongside piano arpeggios and electronic flourishes. "Possession," the album's lead-off single, is a jarring love ballad with lyrics inspired by a stalker's correspondence. There's a double-edged quality to the song's eerie lines -- "I'll take your breath away," "I won't be denied," "Just close your eyes, dear" -- and Marchand underscores that tension by setting McLachlan's melodies to a nocturnal trip-hop beat. Elsewhere, the two lighten up with "Ice Cream," which likens love's sweetness to decadent deserts, yet Fumbling Towards Ecstasy takes most of its strength from the lush, rhythmic dreamscapes that dominate the album. Alternately dark and shimmering, intimate and ornate, Fumbling Towards Ecstasy launched McLachlan's international star power while setting a high bar for her future albums, many of which approached -- but not never quite eclipsed -- this career highlight.

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Product Details

Release Date:
02/15/1994
Label:
Arista
UPC:
0078221872522
catalogNumber:
18725

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Fumbling Towards Ecstasy 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is certainly among one of Sarah McLachlan's finest works. The raw passion of her lyrics and voice evokes emotion in the listener like few other musical works. This is an absolute gem to own and enjoy time and again.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this is my favorite cd. it is about how every person has a love story...one that they must leave behind...and some stories that they have not yet found. elsewhere and fear are two of the most beautiful songs that i have ever heard. ''morning smiles like the face of a newborn child...innocent; unknowing.'' the vocals, the piano, the words all combine together to touch you in a way that only music can touch. it may bring tears, or smiles, or just nostalgia.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Sarah's voice is so beautiful, this is and always will be my absolute favorite album ever.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Not so good Sarah. I first became a fan when i heard "fallen" on the radio. I bought that ,and absolutely love it. She is the best singer in the world,i kid you not. Then without even thinking i bought 'Surfacing' and loved it too (see my review on that one, entitled 'Masterpiece'). So then, having two great cds i thought i'd get a third. And so "fumbling Towards Ecstacy" was added to my collection. I don't like it, i love 'Possession', and 'ice cream' is fun, but the album as a whole isn't good. When i buy a cd i want more than two good songs on it. If you like Sarah than buy her best, "Surfacing" or "Afterglow" also very good. But this, not really. This is one of those cds you'll put in your cd player and take out when you're bored of the good tracks. DOn't buy it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this CD, I've alwayed liked Sarah, due to "I will Remember You" and "Angel", from plays on the radio. But this is the first CD I brought of hers and I love it, pretty much wore it out, listened to it everyday on my way to school (30 minute drive) for 5 months straight, its relaxing and powerful at the same time, especially at 7am. Her voice and music- amazing, and lyrics- heartfelt and its interpretations are different and personal to listeners-theres no one meaning. These group of songs go out to many emotions, deep feelings. I know many artists where every other song is about love (between some guy and girl), this one has nature (Mary), tragedy, self, friendship (Enough)and lost as well. I have all her CDs now and love them all so much but this one will alway have my heart. Theres not one song on this CD I dont like but my favorites are "Ice", "Fear", and "Elsewhere".
Guest More than 1 year ago
First of all, I love most of Sarah's music. And I'm also not someone who feels an artist can do no wrong, like some fans. I do think there are four great songs here. They are: "Possession," "Elsewhere," "Plenty" and "Fear." The other songs just don't do anything for me, and I find them quite boring, with the exception of "Hold On." I also don't know what people see in the title track, which I actually dislike. I just can't listen to this CD all the way through, because it's so boring. If you want the four best songs I mentioned here and a lot of other great songs, buy Sarah's complete concert of "Mirrorball," which has two discs and a white cover. Then you can make a CD from the best tracks there. I was very surprised to see great reviews of this CD. I purchased it because of them, regretably.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It's insane to me to hear that people think this is a bad record. It's one of my most favorite albums by Sarah. In my belief Sarah has only one Okay record which is Afterglow, it's not my favorite, but everything else she has done is amazing. All the songs on Fumbling Towards Ecstasy are flawless especially Ice, Good Enough and Mary.
Guest More than 1 year ago
There are some great songs here: "Possession," "Elsewhere" and "Fear." There are a few good songs here: "Good Enough" and "Plenty." The songs "Ice Cream" and "Hold On" are all right. You can find all these songs on the complete concert of the "Mirrorball" CD, and a lot of other great songs. The other songs on this CD are just BORING. Play the samples. My friend even told me to stop playing this CD because she couldn't take it anymore.
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