Fumbling Towards Ecstasy

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andrew Leahey
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: 2/15/1994
  • Label: Sbme Special Mkts.
  • UPC: 887254259022
  • Catalog Number: 542590
  • Sales rank: 3,925

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Posession (4:39)
  2. 2 Wait (4:09)
  3. 3 Plenty (4:05)
  4. 4 Good Enough (5:03)
  5. 5 Mary (3:55)
  6. 6 Elsewhere (4:44)
  7. 7 Circle (3:43)
  8. 8 Ice (3:54)
  9. 9 Hold On (4:09)
  10. 10 Ice Cream (2:44)
  11. 11 Fear (3:59)
  12. 12 Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (9:47)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sarah McLachlan Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Piano, Vocals
Bill Dillon Bass, Guitar, Piano, Guitorgan
Dave Kershaw Hammond B3
Pierre Marchand Bass, Piano, Keyboards, Shaker, Roland TR-808, Percussion Machine
Jerry Marotta Percussion, Drums
Michel Dubeau Saxophone
Brian Minato Bass
Guy Nadon Drums
Jane Scarpantoni Cello
Lou Shefano Drums
Ashwin Sood Percussion, Drums
Technical Credits
Sarah McLachlan Composer
Greg Calbi Mastering
Pierre Marchand Composer, Producer, Engineer, drum machine, Found Sounds
Roman Klun Paintings, Guitar Engineer
Graham Gilmore Paintings
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