Dear Goddess Sarah
When I was 14 I first heard the song “Path of Thorns (Terms)” and I fell in love. There was something in the melody, the vocals and the instruments that just reached deep into my soul and completed me. I had to know who you were, where you came from and needed to own whatever album it was that I could find that had your voice on it.
I usurped my father’s copy of your Fumbling Towards Ecstasy TAPE that he’d gotten through one of those monthly music subscription things. I had stolen a few of his albums back then, but this one… this one was a part of me. I couldn’t get enough of the music, the melancholy, the vocals, the harmonies, the emotion, the piano. You quickly became my goddess of all things musical and to be honest, of all things in general.
As I had no other aspirations other than become a professional singer at that young age, all I could think about was meeting you, working with you, going on tour with you. I longed to share my musical wants with you. That never happened of course. You continued to tour and I continued to be miserable in school and work and while you’re still singing I’m now a secretary.
You could do no wrong. It was an eternity between your albums once Fumbling came out. I wasn’t the hugest fan of Surfacing, but with that album came your entry into the US music market. I hadn’t been worried about that at the time because you seemed just so down to earth. So Canadian. You weren’t obsessing over your looks or over how in the media you were. You were just making music because you loved to make music. You were real. You were my inspiration. You didn’t even have super-groomed eyebrows until the release of Surfacing.
And then that album got over played. Your touring seemed to be 95% US and 5% Canadian. All your record company released were remixes of songs you’d already released. I under stand if you weren’t able to write music for a while, heck I know what it’s like to not be able to get a song out of your head or heart. Then again, I’m not the one writing songs for a living.
In 2004 you released Afterglow and while it held a little more appeal for me than Surfacing it was starting to sound over produced and synthesized. Where was the raw guitar and piano and vocal feel of the first few albums? This was starting to sound more like light rock than East Coast folky rock. Even your voice was different. There are voice lessons and then there are voice lessons. Your harmonies were not as creative and haunting as they once were. And while the 2004 release is special to me due to the fact that I was proposed to in the front row of your concert in Montreal that year and a song from the album became my wedding song… it just wasn’t Fumbling or Solace.
Then you released two singles with a greatest hits album. Those singles were just not good. One was better than the other but you shocked me by using freaking chat speak to title it. Really, Sarah? Really? You stooped as low as using number and letters to convey real words? That is one of my biggest turn offs and there was my goddess, my inspiration teaching a whole new generation of music lovers that it is ok to massacre the English language. We’re you trying to stay hip and relevant? Do you not care about your loyal fans?
But the biggest, hugest betrayal you could ever do came just this past winter. You cheated on me with the United States, Sarah McLachlan. You cheated. While us proud Canadians revved up for the 2010 Winter Olympics that were held in Vancouver this year we thought there’s no one better to represent us that Sarah McLachlan! She lives in Vancouver! Her record company is in Vancouver! We are PROUD CANADIANS! *fanfare*
But… your song, that lousy over-produced and sickeningly sweet One Dream wasn’t recorded for Canada. It was recorded for the US Olympics on NBC.
ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
Your record company, Nettwerk Records, sent out a newsletter letting fans know they can watch the World Premier of your video by clicking on a link. Except it was only viewable in the US. I was so upset I wrote a letter. I do not write letters. I wrote a letter to Nettwerk calling them on their stupidity. I read the comments on your Facebook fan page and on Twitter before I promptly deleted myself as a fan and stopped following your news updates online. Canadians from coast to coast (though especially those in Vancouver) were livid. I was livid.
Was this your decision? I don’t know. If it was is was certainly a horrible one. It was obviously a money-driven decision and it is such a superbly horrible song I am almost happy it didn’t represent Canadians.
And now you have a new album coming out in June. And the new Lilith Fair tour that has a line up that I find just miserable. I always said I would go again if the tour resurrected, but I am not. There’s no one on the tour that I want to see bad enough to pay the admission fee. Your songs aren’t enough for me anymore.
And this new single you just premiered? Loving You Is Easy? It’s so different from your regular stuff it’s mind boggling. Shawn said it sounds like a cross between Michael Buble and Feist. I listened to it this morning and you sound like you’re trying to mimic Sara Bareillis’ Love Song. Do you remember the time that you didn’t sound like anyone else? In fact other people were compared to YOU, Sarah. YOU. And now I listen to this new song and think that it sounds like a fairly new artist on the scene. One I loved when I heard her. But it’s not you.
In fact your current songs are ones that I feel like I will hear playing over my head the next time I go have my teeth cleaned. You’ve become dentist and elevator music. Not raw, real, emotional music that grips your soul.
What has happened to you? I can always find at least one or two songs on an album to appease me, but the betrayal with the USA is just too much for me to over look. You don’t feel like a real person anymore. You seem like you’re trying to get in on the hype and the media sensations. I can’t even look at you.
I will listen to your new album when it comes out. And yes, I did buy the new song. But only because I seem to be holding onto a dream that has actually become more of a nightmare than a good one. I am clinging to my childhood goddess in hope that she’s still there to save me. But at the same time I am bopping to a really great new Sara Bareillis tune… er.. wait.. I mean Sarah McLachlan.
You used to have your own sound. Now you sound like everybody else. I guess it’s better that the US has you.
PS – After the Barenaked Ladies let me down I always thought “At least I have Sarah McLachlan”. Are there any Canadians that won’t betray me?