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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2005
"Bloom" is the long overdue, much belated follow up to the first Sarah McLachlan album "Remixed", which was released in 2001. Whereas "Remixed" was, for the most part a collection of four to the floor, euphoric and hugely uplifting club remixes, interspersed with the odd ambient endeavour, "Bloom" an altogether more eclectic affair.
The album opens with the pounding Junkie XL remix of the second single to have been lifted from Sarah's "Afterglow" opus, "World on fire". Although perhaps not altogether suited to Sarah's vocals, Junkie XL delivers a sterling trance-infused remix which is included here in full length form.
The second track on the disc is the Dusted (aka Rollo and Mark Bates) remix of "Ice". Dusted did an awesome job when commissioned to rework Sarah's tear jerking single "Angel", and in the wake of that peerless remix their variation of "Ice" can only disappoint. This is arguably the weakest track on the album
Track 3 is the awesome Tom Middleton remix of the classic "Vox". Middleton's remix is an utterly inspired, genre-straddling affair the like of which i've not heard in a very long time. McLachlan's vocals melt into his exquisite production, rendering this track one of the highlights of this CD
Track four is "Dirty little secret", as lifted from "Afterglow", which has been remoulded in an ambient, even balearic fashion by the Thierry Corporation. Sarah's mournful vocals are entirely suited to their minimalistic remake, rendering this one of the highlights of "Bloom"
The Hyper remix of the 2004 single "Stupid" is up next, and is a very dark and devastating remake indeed. Sarah's vocals sound a tad malevolent even when pitched againgst the breaks-infused soundscape. A particularly hypnotic track which grabs you and refuses to let go
"Train wreck" is up next, again lifted from "Afterglow". This track has been given a very upbeat, extremely catchy makeover from scene stalwarts Sly & Robbie. A hugely idiosynchratic affair, "Train wreck" is undeniably superior to the remix work of many of the contemporary acts on this album
"Just like me" is another electic affair featuring Will I Am from the Black Eyed Peas and on remix duties, DMC from Run DMC fame. Predominately an r&b number, Sarah's vocals burst into with her singing an interpolation of "Cats in the cradle". Not one of the standout tracks but very interesting nonetheless
Track eight is the exquisite "Answer". Overhauled by Talvin Singh, "Answer" features breathtaking Indian instrumentation which compliments Sarah's pleading vocals immensely. Another standout track, slightly ambient in sound and again a highlight of the CD
"Fallen" is up next and is featured, at long last, in full length form, as remixed by Gabriel & Dresden. Criminally, G&D's remix of "Fallen" was omitted from the UK and US single release and has as such been in great demand ever since. A truly thunderous, roofraising club affair, "Fallen" is one of the finest Sarah McLachlan remixes ever, harking back to perhaps Tiesto's remake of "Sweet surrender" which was featured on her 2001 remix album "Remixed"
The last track is "Fumbling towards ecstasy", as remixed by the enigmatic Junior Boys (nothing to do with X-Press 2, Farley & Heller or Junior Vasquez apparently). Arguably the weakest track on the album, this is another downtempo affair which is nowhere near as masterful as the Thievvy Corporation remix of "Dirty little secret" or the Talvin Singh retouch of "Answer"
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
It is a great album when played on a normal CD player. But beware when you try to upload the songs to your ipod or mp3 player. Up pops a window requesting your permission to install Sony protection software and then apparently you can load it to your digital player. I did this once with a CD by Cyndi Lauper and Sony got into the root system of my computer and ended up corrupting ALL the files on my mp3 player! I think it is terrible that Sony is doing this to the albums of great artists like Sarah. Sony Japan refuses to do this. It is the non-Japanese Sony affiliates. SHAME ON SONY!!! My rating for this album would be highest, but I have had to spread a word of warning and so gave the lower rating. I wonder if Sarah is aware what Sony is doing to her fans like me who want to support her work by actually buying the CD but being punished for it. It just does not make any sense.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 15 October 2005
Having finally received this CD yesterday it has not been out of my CD player since!
I have been a long-time fan of Sarah's Music since 96 so to say I love her music is an understatement. This album takes her classic and most recent songs to a new level. I love the alternatives to favourite songs such as Ice and Answer. Excellent, just excellent! There are hours of listening pleasure here without a hint of becoming tiresome or repetitive...
It's a nice complement to the first remix album, but I would say this release is even better if that was possible! And also a little different... it's not totally dance-dance tracks, but an excellent array of electronic sounds and fantastic variations on the tunes we all know without losing any of their originality, in fact they add to the richness and depth and bring something new to their interpretation...
My personal favourite at the moment is "Just Like Me" - I am loving it and singing along full voice! I have finally mastered all the words to it... it's been played often enough!
I look forward to many more releases along these lines - and it would be nice to see a new album soon too!
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The Freedom Sessions by Sarah McLachlan (Audio CD - 2004)

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