Yet, as with much of Surfacing, her gauzy 1997 creation that often melted into ethereal slush, the firmly midtempo Afterglow sounds like McLachlan could barely spearhead a PTA bake sale, much less organize an entire tour. Her icy croon cracks with pretty but ultimately disconnected emotion on the piano-driven "Drifting," the smooth jazz abomination "Trainwreck," and the interminable "World On Fire." Memorable hooks and interesting ideas are MIA amid the disc's monotonous combinations of strings, synths, and soccer-mom-palatable guitars. Only the lilting, delicate single "Fallen" and the surprisingly rip-roaring riffs on the chorus of "Stupid" possess any staying power -- something McLachlan herself is in danger of losing, if she can't rediscover her feisty voice.
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