Four years ago, Sarah McLachlan split with her husband, management and record company and lost her father -- all in the span of a week.
Not surprisingly, the veteran Canadian singer-songwriter's latest album, "Shine On" -- her first since 2010 -- is informed by those events and is even a bit more overtly personal than some of its predecessors.
"All my albums are emotional," says McLachlan, 46. "I write about emotions first and foremost. How they affect people and why is endlessly fascinating to me. And I think perhaps this record is a little more direct than some of the ones I've done in the past.
"I'm telling stories like I always do, but I guess they're more direct in the sense that, 'This is me. This is what I have to say. this is what I've gone through' as opposed to masking it, like they're parallel universes."
McLachlan -- who's currently dating former NHL star Geoff Courtnall -- tells those stories in a slightly different way on "Shine On," too. In addition to working with longtime collaborator Pierre Marchand, McLachlan recorded some tracks with Bob Rock, the Vancouver-based producer known for his hard rock work with AC/DC, Metallica, Bon Jovi, Aerosmith and others -- an eyebrow raising association suggested by McLachlan's current manager that she says worked out much better than anticipated.
"He produced Metallica, right? So I'm thinking, 'What are we gonna have in common?' " McLachlan recalls. "He's actually a lovely, lovely man. We had wonderful conversations and he encouraged me to push it a little more aggressively than I would have, left to my own devices.
"One of the guitar players he used had a Nashville tuning that I had no idea that existed but which I now love. It's my new favorite thing, so (Rock) really brought a lot to the party without making it too uncomfortable."
7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 12
Meadow Brook Music Festival on the campus of Oakland University, Rochester Hills
Tickets are $65 and $45 pavilion, $30 lawn
Call 248-377-0100 or visit www.palacenet.com
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