Signed to a recording contract as a teenager, by her second album at age 23 Sarah McLachlan had matured into a compelling singer-songwriter waiting only for the rest of the world to catch up. (In Canada, she was becoming known, but the U.S. and elsewhere would not ignite until her next album, 1993’s Fumbling Towards Ecstasy). McLachlan had grown up in Halifax, Nova Scotia, classically training on guitar and piano to accompany the natural wonder of a voice she presses into dexterous service throughout this well-rounded collection of ethereal folk tunes. The haunting call-and-response drama of “Lost,” the pulsing yearn of ‘I Will Not Forget You,” the smooth electric groove of ‘Into the Fire,” all signal her emergence as a young, formidable talent. Her own solemnity brilliantly focuses the surreal and wispy wrap of “Black.” Her chilling vocal acrobatics add a desperate edge to “Home.” Only the cover of Donovan’s “Wear Your Love Like Heaven” seems at odds, being an optimistic capper for an album that excels on its restless sense of uncertainty.

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