Martha Wainwright
Martha Wainwright


4.0
excellent

Review

by dreambrother18 USER (5 Reviews)
October 9th, 2006 | 9 replies | 2,161 views


Release Date: | Tracklist

Review Summary: Canadian singer-songwriter steps out from the shadows of brother Rufus Wainwright with an assured debut.

2 of 2 thought this review was well written

Come, come out from behind the curtains Martha Wainwright.

Take a bow. Your time has come.

Indeed, the recent revival of acoustic music seems an especially apt time for Martha Wainwright to step from the shadows of her successful musical family. And well, if I was female, my brother was Rufus and my father Loudon Wainwright III, I too would be pretty apprehensive about putting out an album knowing that that’s what I had to live up to. But kudos to Martha for stepping up to the plate.

Success is often built on instinct, and although Wainwright has been singing and writing for years, she was never in hurry to record this album. At 29, this debut is the culmination of a long gestation period of learning, developing and connecting with her music while finding her own voice. What’s more interesting is that the record was recorded by Wainwright with producer Brad Albetta (also her bass player) in his studio before record labels started showing any interest. If that sounds like someone who is confident, then it shows. Her instincts have proved her right, and the result is an assured piece of work that should stamp her as one of the brighter female artists of recent times.


A strictly biographical set of songs is highlighted by Wainwright’s strong lyrics that paint very stoic, proud female characters who are also coloured by a certain vulnerability lurking beneath the surface. Contrast, for instance, the raw Bloody Motherf***ng Assole where a defiant Wainwirght yells:

Quote:
I will not pretend
I will not put on a smile
I will not say I am alright for you
When all I ever wanted was to be good
Do everything in truth

Later on Tv Show she acknowledges:

Quote:
I am not such good lover
I am a better talker
So when you touch me there
I’m scared that you will see
Not the way that I don’t love you
But the way that I don’t love myself



Its as though she’s struggling to come to grips as to which one of these characters is really her – perhaps both at different times in life.

In between these two extremes she fits in songs about childhood, friends and jilted lovers. Indeed, it is in these memories that Wainwirght proves most devastating. The opening track ‘Far Away’ is gorgeous, with its backing vocals reaching a crescendo before Wainwirght pleads (“I have no children/I have no husband/I have no reason/To be alive, oh give me one”) without sounding the least bit jaded. On G.P.T and When the Day is Short she playfully remembers adolesence, with reference to starry nights, when you’re drunk enough to go home with ‘whoever is sure’.

A more downbeat assessment of love and loss comes from two stunningly beautiful ballads - Don’t Forget and These Flowers - that recall the vulnerability of Joni Mitchell’s Blue. She also throws in a duet with Rufus for good measure and a good rendition of Vaughan Williams’ ‘Wither must I wonder’.


The weight of expectation in following her family footsteps may be great, but Wainwright seems comfortable exploring and paving her own pathway to success. This debut confirms that Wainwright has every right to assert her own in the industry, and respect should be paid to her work and not her name.


user ratings (12)
Chart.
3.3
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
CanonInD
October 9th 2006



359 Comments


review is good

Zebra
Moderator
October 9th 2006



2647 Comments


Indeed. Great work.

Hatshepsut
October 9th 2006



1997 Comments


Solid review. If I wasn't on a downloading binge right now, I'd get this.

1917
October 11th 2006



12 Comments


When aren't you on a downloading binge?

morrissey
Moderator
October 11th 2006



1688 Comments


Love this record. I'll have to agree with Sylvia about "Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole"

Nice review, but I have to agree with SOP that you concentrated more on the lyrics than the music. Keep that in mind for you next reviews. Still, I'll look forward to reading them.

livinginafantasy
October 12th 2006



35 Comments


sounds interesting.
investigation time.

dreambrother18
October 14th 2006



10 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

thanks for the advice peoples - duly noted.

NationalMidnightStar
December 25th 2012



176 Comments


eh its ok

NationalMidnightStar
December 25th 2012



176 Comments


the album i mean



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