Martha Wainwright isn't the only artist to draw on life altering events -- the birth of a child, the death of a parent, or, in Wainwright's case, both -- as the emotional impetus in songwriting. But Wainwright has always possessed what might be termed an overactive reflective reflex, an innate talent for introspection and world view that seems both deeply soulful, in every sense of that overused word, and remarkably honest to the point of the most nakedly brutal exposure (she did, after all, write the early song "Bloody Mother F--king Asshole" about her father, tunesmith Loudon Wainwright). Her Come Home To Mama (October 16, V2), her ode to motherhood (and her late mother Kate McGarrigle), is only the third self-penned album from the 36-year-old Wainwright and first since 2008's fine I Know You're Married But I Have Feelings Too and is as bravely idiosyncratic and, well, just plain special as could be expected. It's not a pop album, it's not a rock or folk album, it's a Martha Wainwright album, a sometimes off-putting, occasionally head-scratching and more often than not, brilliant collection of deeply personal and quaintly melodramatic songs that in an odd way, are the perfect followup to her 2009 album of Edith Piaf compositions. Our advice? Trust Mama, of course.
Martha Wainwright - "All Your Clothes" (from Come Home To Mama)
Martha Wainwright - "Leave Behind" (from Come Home To Mama)
From her site: In the past, Martha worked with husband Brad Albetta but this time out chose Yuka C. Honda (Cibo Matto) to add a feminine touch. Her husband, Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, provides the musical thread throughout this captivating disc. Guest musicians include Thomas Bartlett, keyboards; Brad Albetta, bass and drummer Jim White.
“Making this record was a totally different experience,” Martha says. “Yuka’s approach was very open. Sometimes I would just demo the song, singing in the closet which served as the vocal booth, then she would build the track around that. In other instances we would jam with a few musicians and try to get a live take.
“This record is a culmination of my life experiences so far. Everything changed for me a couple years ago and this record is a representation of that and a return to the reason I started writing songs,” she adds. “I can’t wait to hit the road with my family and new band in tow.”