In 1996, before she had blown up into the AAA luminary she later became, Sarah McLachlan issued the first volume of Rarities, B-Sides & Other Stuff, which was a nice, albeit remix-heavy, collection of some of the Canadian chanteuse's harder to find material. In 2008, with superstar status cleanly attained, the second volume was released, with little fanfare or to-do, most likely at the behest of her label, Nettwerk (a subsidiary of Sony BMG). As it turns out, there's little to get excited about here, as it's the kind of compilation that appeals mostly to the serious fan as opposed to the casual listener, who may enjoy listening to "Angel" on the radio, even Surfacing, but has little desire to hear DJ Tiësto's version of "Silence," her hit song with Delerium, which was already released on the 2001 album Remixed anyway. In fact, all of the songs here have seen the light of day in one way or another, be it on a soundtrack ("When She Loved Me" from Toy Story 2, "Ordinary Miracle" from Charlotte's Web, "Blackbird" from I Am Sam, "Don't Let Go" from Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron), or as a guest on someone else's album ("Time After Time" is from Cyndi Lauper's The Body Acoustic, "Homeless" is from Ladysmith Black Mambazo's Long Walk to Freedom, and "Pills" was released as a single by the Perishers, who opened for the singer in 2005). The other tracks are from other assorted compilations or singles, and while there are a couple of nice things here (the lovely "Prayer of St. Francis," the aforementioned "Blackbird"), Rarities, B-Sides & Other Stuff, Vol. 2 will only excite the very people who already have all of this material anyway, which makes it...well...not very exciting to anyone.
AllMusic Review by Marisa Brown
feat: Cyndi Lauper
feat: Emmylou Harris
feat: The Perishers