A Vivascene Feature Review by Brian Miller

Vivascene rating 9.2

Due out this week, Martha Wainwright‘s new album Come Home To Mama features her glorious voice wedded to lyrics that slowly, deeply and truly penetrate the consciousness while the melodies hook one immediately. It’s quite a combination, and a welcome return to the studio for the most talented of the McGarrigle Sisters’ progeny. Much as we loved (and continue to do so) the 2012 release by her brother Rufus (Out Of The Game), we can’t help but feel that this one will last longer, if given the chance it deserves. As musically adventurous as Rufus’s work, this new Martha album is one of the most satisfying albums of 2012, for several reasons.

You can stream the entire album Come Home to Mama here:

Martha has an unforgettable voice, filled with the McGarrigle trademark heartbreak and sorrow, but also suffused with a quality distinctly her own: a capacity and instinct for rock vocals (witness the new “I Wanna Make An Arrest” and the deservedly celebrated knockout from 2005 “Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole”) that no other woman in music (with the exception of Adele) presently possesses. Strong praise indeed, but hey, Martha is among the best we have today. Anyone who can deliver the powerhouse strength of those tunes and then produce one of the most affecting songs of the year in “Proserpina” is worthy of all the accolades we can pour on her. This last song was the final composition of her late, lamented mother Kate and is one of the highlights of Come Home To Mama, and it’s the song from which the album’s title is derived. Scroll down and watch the terrific vid below.

Those of you who have auditioned the first Kate and Anna McGarrigle album (self-titled, released in 1976) and recall both its impact and its undeniable authenticity should explore the current work of Martha Wainwright. This new release is equally good, and that’s a bold statement while we thrash about for quality, awash in the mediocrity of this decade’s offerings.

Highly recommended.

Watch: “Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole”

Watch: “Proserpina”

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