When I first listened to Sarah McLachlan’s new album, Shine On, I noticed that most of the songs on it include a reference to some sort of water. The types of water range from rivers and the sea to rain and tears. These watery references bring to mind the ebb and flow of life and they connect a diverse set of tunes in an intriguing way.
A track from the CD that particularly struck me was “Song For My Father.” McLachlan wrote the song in remembrance of her beloved dad, who died in 2010. I initially heard the song on an evening in June, and that night I had a dream in which my father, who passed away last year, appeared; that was a powerful reminder of the kind of impact that certain songs can have on us.
In addition to memorable and meaningful lyrics, the album contains melodies and rhythms that are striking and varied. It opens very energetically with a tune called “In Your Shoes” and ends more quietly with a song titled, “The Sound That Love Makes.” Some of the music is somber, and yet Shine On concludes on an optimistic note. McLachlan’s voice, as ethereal as ever, conveys on the album that she is moving on, with hope, to the next phase of her life, after passing through a trying, troubling time.