Fumbling Towards Ecstasy [Import Bonus Track]

( 2 )

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 here, 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, soothing and slyly unsettling, 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. [The Japanese version of the CD was released with a bonus track.]
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/10/1994
  • Label: Arista Europe
  • UPC: 743211903226
  • Catalog Number: 119032
  • Sales rank: 57,720

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Possession (4:41)
  2. 2 Wait (4:09)
  3. 3 Plenty (4:05)
  4. 4 Good Enough (5:04)
  5. 5 Mary (3:55)
  6. 6 Elsewhere (4:44)
  7. 7 Circle (3:43)
  8. 8 Ice (3:54)
  9. 9 Hold On (4:10)
  10. 10 Ice Cream (2:44)
  11. 11 Fear (3:59)
  12. 12 Fumbling Towards Ecstasy (9:48)
  13. 13 Blue (2:49)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Sarah McLachlan Primary Artist, Acoustic Guitar, Guitar, Piano, Vocals
Bill Dillon Bass, Guitar, Piano, Electric Guitar, Guitorgan
Dave Kershaw Hammond Organ
Pierre Marchand Bass, Percussion, Piano, Drums, Keyboards, Hammond Organ, 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
Joni Mitchell Composer
Sarah McLachlan Paintings, Introduction
Greg Calbi Mastering
Pierre Marchand Producer, Engineer, drum machine, Found Sounds
John Rummen Sleeve Design
Roman Klun Engineer
Graham Gilmore Paintings
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Her best work, by FAR!

    I fell in love with this album almost immediately after it's release, listened to it constantly for a year, and have been completely disappointed in everything she's released since...She has one of the more beautiful, diverse and passionate voices I've ever heard, and makes so many highly regarded female vocalists, such as Celine Dion, Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, and the like, sound like the hollow, singing machines they are. And most strikingly, unlike the dull, miserable piano ballads I've heard from her over the past decade, this album still sounds bold and fresh, both in songwriting, sonics and recording. Still extremely affecting, for me at least. This record is forever linked in my head to the Velvets, JAMC, Jeff Buckley, the Cocteau Twins, the Cure, and Bjork, just for the simple reason that I was getting into all of it at the same time...and this still compares well to those artists. A beautiful, rich collection of songs, performed and recorded with dark flair and an experimental, shoegazing, dream-pop ear...Put an electric guitar back in this woman's hands! Please!!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Haunting CD

    This is her best CD. Without a doubt. There is not a single bad song on here. My personal favorites are Possession, Plenty, Ice and Fumbling Towards Ecstasy. The only song on here I've ever disliked was Mary, but I got over that. This is an amazing CD. I can see why you wouldn't like it if you are new to Sarah and like her newer stuff (Afterglow) because it's quite different from this, and I'm not the biggest fan of it. But this is her most powerful and haunting CD. Buy it. :)

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews