Sarah McLachlan, "Laws of Illusion"

65 Billboard Rating

"Here I go again," Sarah McLachlan sings on "Illusions of Bliss." And though the song describes the singer's inability to resist a doomed romance, she might just as easily be referring to her music. "Laws of Illusion" is McLachlan's first studio album in seven years, but it picks up where 2003's "Afterglow" left off. That means lushly produced midtempo ballads full of atmopsheric keyboard textures, dreamy vocal melodies and introspective lyrics about shooting stars, hopeful hearts and waltzing through the waves. "Loving You is Easy," the set's relatively jaunty lead single, puts pep in its piano pop step. But cuts like the mournful "Forgiveness" and the mello "U Want Me 2" (the latter previously featured on MCLachlan's 2008 hits collection) cook at a decidely lower temperature that long time fans will find plenty hot. However, their quieter pace might leave others a little cold. -- Mikael Wood

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