THE FREEDOM SESSIONS features alternate versions of songs from FUMBLING TOWARDS ECSTASY. The CD version includes a bonus multimedia track that, when played on a computer, shows more than 30 minutes of video footage, photographs, audio- and video-clips from earlier albums, and interviews. The rest of the album can be played on a computer or a standard CD player.
Personnel: Sarah McLachlan (vocals, acoustic & electric guitars, piano, keyboards); David Sinclair (acoustic guitar); Luke Doucet (acoustic slide guitar); David Kershaw (piano, organ, bass); Pierre Marchand (keyboards, bass, percussion, drum programming, background vocals); Brian Minato (bass); Ashwin Sood (drums, djembe, background vocals); Camille Henderson (background vocals).
Producers: Jay Daunheimer, Pierre Marchand, Pleasure Palace.
Engineers: Pierre Marchand, David Kershaw.
Includes liner notes by Sarah McLachlan.
The seeds of THE FREEDOM SESSIONS grew out of Sarah McLachlan's highly-acclaimed FUMBLING TOWARDS ECSTASY, the idea behind which was to combine the folky acoustic tendencies of her songwriting with a more produced air. THE FREEDOM SESSIONS features many of the same songs, but in their initial, unadorned stages, reworked with a more earthy feel that returns to the essence of where the material came from.
THE FREEDOM SESSIONS is a collection of evocative folk-rock songs, backed by simple percussion, acoustic guitar and piano, which also spotlights McLachlan's elegant voice. Sweeping and soaring through these soft-yet-vivid songs, she evokes the styles of fellow Canadian, Joni Mitchell. While the material deals with a variety of painful subjects and matters of the heart, McLachlan keeps her emotions in check, getting her point across precisely and clearly. And that is the key to the album's success. During "Hold On," for instance, she sings in a flat, almost dispassionate tone--"...hold on, this is gonna hurt like hell." Inspired by a woman whose fiance was infected with AIDS, McLachlan couldn't make a stronger point if she had screamed the line. On the jazzy "Ice Cream," she reaches out to a broken-hearted lover, comforting him without histrionics. "Your love is better than ice cream," she sings, exhibiting her understated, lighthearted side. Throughout THE FREEDOM SESSIONS, McLachlan coolly and calmly works through the pain.