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30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
In the mood for some over-the-top emotion?

Try this.

Kate McGarrigle was dying, and she knew it. But she loved Christmas and the family holiday concerts that raised money for cancer research, so she willed herself on stage at the Royal Albert Hall in London for the 2009 benefit. Flanked by her son Rufus and her very pregnant daughter Martha, she sang a song she'd written for them --- the last song she'd ever write.

"We all knew it would be her last concert," Martha has said. "My mother wrote that song with one foot in the world she was heading to, and with the full knowledge of where she was going."

That song was "Proserpina." Its inspiration was a Roman myth, a story of spring. Its refrain: "Come home to mother, come home to mama now."

Two months later, Martha was a mother and her mother was gone.

And now we have Martha's CD, "Come Home to Mama."

"I recorded it at a time when I thought, in some way, if I could just sing like her, and if I closed my eyes and I conjured it up enough, that maybe when I opened them she would be back in the room," Wainwright told an interviewer. "It was one of those stages of disbelief at the beginning, when someone has died. I sang it like she sang it, because who would want to change that?"

There's a video of "Proserpina." It was recorded in a single take. It is, without question, the most powerful piece of theater I've seen this year.

"Proserpina" is the only song on the CD that Martha didn't write. But in its emotional transparency, it's representative of the other nine songs. And a worthy successor to her CD of songs by that great heart tugger, Edith Piaf. Be warned: this CD flays you. Spares you nothing. If you're looking for aural comfort food, flee now.

Sample lyrics? "Can You Believe It?" starts with this: "I really like the make-up sex/ It's the only kind I ever get." And goes on to declare: "As I get angrier, I get older/ I have fewer and fewer to complain to/ So I built a ship of s--t and directed it at you."

And that's a love song!

Wainwright, who posed naked for the cover photo, is unapologetic: "I'm trying to create something that's interesting and moving for other people, so I go farther in my lyrics than a lot of people would. I have a tendency to exaggerate things. The moment I'm inspired to write a song might be a low point, but that's just a low point. It's not the whole story."

The whole story, on this basis of this CD, is flawed. Uneven. A song of beauty and melody and genius is juxtaposed with a song that sounds to me a lot like discordant noise. That's the price you pay with Martha Wainwright. The price she knowingly makes you pay. This is, after all, a woman who made a CD she titled "I Know You're Married But I Have Feelings Too."

I wouldn't want to meet Martha Wainwright in a bad mood late at night in a rainy alley, but from this distance... Lord, I love her.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 15, 2012
Format: Audio CD
I discovered this album through my sister who live near Gaspesie in Quebec, Canada, she was listening to it all the time when I visited her... A few days later I heard a song on Radio Canada that I found so good that I checked the radio playlist to know what it was... It seems there was an error and couldn't find the artist and title, and when my uncle put the latest Martha Wainwright album, I recognized the song, it was her, and Four black sheep.

And since then I became "obsessed" with it, and the good news is the more I listen to the album, the more I find it excellent: her unique voice, the instrumental arrangements, Martha's creativity and versatility, her touching words, all in subtility, and some tracks are so dynamic, like Radio Star - she creates a world of her own. And she works with great musicians too, especially Sean Lennon who plays bass on Can you believe it and Four black sheep, and part of the album was recorded in his studio.

Martha is really a musical genius, I hope lots of people will discover her! I find some touches of Patty Smith, Bjork, Jane Siberry, Portishead, Kate Bush, David Bowie, The Beatles... But it's essentially Martha Wainwright.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon January 5, 2013
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
Martha and I go way back, to hear debut album : )

I think this album fits in nicely to her larger body of work. This album is unique as she is now a wife and mother. Her songs are still angry, but also clever and poetic. Proserpina, written by her late mother, is the best on the album. Her raw emotions on this song are incredible. I read in an interview how powerful this song is, especially since her mother is split between this world and the next and the song discuss the myth of Proserpina being taken to live with Pluto in the Underworld and Hera's sadness and anger towards the world because of her loss. Pretty powerful myth written by a powerful woman in a strange time in her life. Martha sings the song beautifully. It will haunt you.

The rest of the album is not as emotional, but is all Martha. She is powerful and poetic, while maintaining a sense of humor. I think they all belong on this album and flow beautifully from the first to the last.

If you like Martha already, she will deliver to your expectations. If not, this is a wonderful album with which to become acquainted. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 30, 2013
Format: Vinyl
The first song I heard from this cd was "Proserpina" and I was hoping the rest of the album would sound as good and I wasn't disappointed. Every song here is bard naked emotions laid over some amazing tracks. Songs like "All Your Clothes" where she imagines having a conversation with her mother, is heart breaking to hear, as is her brutal honesty on "Everything Wrong" with lines like "My husbands been lying and cheating". For me the best songs are "Some People", "Leave Behind" and "Radio Star". However as much as I love this cd I do feel it's her weakest so far. At times her voice can sound sharp and it feels like she's screaming at you rather then singing. But by the sounds of this cd Martha's going through quite a bit with the passing of her mother and a husband who lies and cheats, she makes references to her failing marriage in two songs here. I wish her all the best musically and personally. Good luck Martha we love you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2013
Format: Audio CDVerified Purchase
Absolutely love the song "Proserpina". It blows me away. If you've never heard of Martha Wainwright, shame on you. Fantastic album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 2012
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
I think Martha and her brother made brilliant albums this year. I listened to this on NPR in Italy one night when I couldn't sleep. I have yet to stop listening to it. It fills me with warmth love and soul. She is extraordinary and so is this album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CD
Some of her songs are just well a bit TOO introspective, I think. She has great lungs, I must say.
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on July 10, 2014
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
"Come Home to Mama" which is Wainwright's third album continues to build on the momentum that she had established with her first released "Martha Wainwright" and "I Know Your Married But I Got Feelings Too" but with "Mama" she changes from the upbeat folk-pop that dominated the other two albums to a more mellow and subdued sound only allowing one song's tempo to raise to a head bopping level. My favorite songs on the album are "Radio Star" which brakes away from the mellowness of the album, "I Want to Make and Arrest", "Can You Believe", and "Four Black Sheep." Also the omly single released from the album was "Proserpina" which was written by her late mother Kate McGarrigle which is alsome highlight of the album and you can just hear the love that she had for her mother.
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on October 5, 2013
Format: Audio CD
In a year which saw stellar releases from Bat For Lashes, Cat Power, Regina Spektor, Ladyhawke and other leading female artists, Martha Wainwright's stood very tall. 'Proserpina' was one of the best songs of 2012 or any year.. 'Leave Behind' and 'Four Black Sheep' feature just the right level of minimalist electronica. And while the influence of say, Kate Bush's early 1980s work is detectable, Wainwright's gymnastic voice is rather incomparable.

This is a truly wonderful album which reveals more with each listen. The naysayers on this page have ears of cloth.
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on December 26, 2012
Format: MP3 MusicVerified Purchase
I first heard "Everything Wrong" on NPR and was hooked. This album is so heartbreaking and raw at times ("Proserpina"), but also offers songs up-tempo ("Radio Star") with a funk vibe. Give this album a chance and you won't be able to stop listening.
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