Second Spring #7: “Fear” by Sarah McLachlan

1993, Nettwerk.

I’m honestly not sure what I could write about this song that I’ve not already written here and elsewhere.  I first encountered McLachlan back in 1993 when her stunning (to this day, one of my favorite albums) FUMBLING TOWARD ECSTACY revealed just how professional and innovative “alternative” music could be.  If there’s an artist who puts her (or him) self more into the music than did the younger McLachlan, I have yet to encounter that artist.

I remember telling some women friends of mine that I had discovered McLachlan, only to find that the really cool women in graduate school already knew McLachlan from her first two albums–which, I was informed, were far superior to this third one.  Admittedly, after purchasing TOUCH (1989) and SOLACE (1991), I had to agree that they were excellent.  They still weren’t FUMBLING.

Ostensibly about love, “Fear” is fundamentally about surrendering one’s self to one’s lover, unsure, however, that one’s lover really is in love and not just in lust.

Her lyrics reach the sublime, coming the formality of Eliot with the confessional tone of the Beats.  A glorious achievement.

Wind in time
Rapes the flower trembling on the vine
And nothing yields to shelter
From above
They say temptation will destroy our love
The never ending hunger


Past Second Springs:

  1. Kevin McCormick’s “Storm Front”
  2. The Fierce and the Dead, “Part I”
  3. Big Big Train, “The Permanent Way”
  4. Talk Talk, “April 5”
  5. Ayreon, “One Small Step”
  6. Pure Reason Revolution, “Bright Ambassadors of Morning”

Inspired by Craig Breaden’s brilliant 104-part Soundstream, I’ve decided to post music that reveals that rock and jazz (and some other forms of music) are not the end of western civilization, but the culmination of western civilization up to this point in time.  A second spring, if you will.


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