Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Sarah McLachlan

  • Surfacing [Arista, 1997] C-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Surfacing [Arista, 1997]
Fearing serial tsunamis of subcosmic truism and womanist gush, I'd always kept away from the edge of this Canadian, such as it was. But between her Lilith Fair counterpalooza and "Building a Mystery" bonanza, I had to dive in, and got less than I'd bargained for. McLachlan isn't a mystic, a sister, even a NewAger--merely a singer-songwriter of monumental banality. Now ensconced in the mature satisfactions that come eventually to many unhappy young women, most of whom don't possess a clear multioctave voice or modest tune sense, she's proud to encase her homilies of succor and self-acceptance in settings that don't call undue attention to her compositional ambitions. Renormalized pop at its most unnecessary. C-