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Martha Wainwright

4.4 out of 5 stars 39 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 12, 2005
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Martha Wainwright made a bold statement with the release of her EP 'Bloody Mother F***ing A**hole' earlier this year. The release of that self-titled debut album takes things to a whole new level. An album of contrasts, Martha Wainwright features tracks filled with raw, fiery, passionate energy alongside unforgettable, hauntingly beautiful ballads. Includes 'When the Day Is Short', 'Factory' & 'The Maker' (with Rufus Wainwright).Zoe. 2005.

With her debut album appearing at the age of 28, Martha Wainwright has lived in a musical world since she was born. She posses a voice with timbres similar to her brother, Rufus, and to her mother and aunt, Kate & Anna McGarrigle. She also has a way of stretching syllables out for reasons at once musical and textual, very much like her father, Loudon Wainwright, from whom she's also inherited a bold autobiographical stance, albeit couched in her own particular poetics. A bracing confidence informs these thirteen songs, from the bright shiny pop of "G.P.T." and "The Maker" (with the unmistakable voice of Rufus on backup vocals) to the fragile balladry of "Whither Must I Wander." Martha Wainwright continues the family tradition of audacious debuts. -- David Greenberger

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Far Away
  2. G.P.T.
  3. Factory
  4. These Flowers
  5. Ball And Chain
  6. Don't Forget
  7. This Life
  8. When The Day Is Short
  9. Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole
  10. Oprah Song
  11. The Maker
  12. Who Was I Kidding
  13. Whither Must I Wander

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 12, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Zoe Records
  • ASIN: B0007VZ9EE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #126,175 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
Most of the time when I buy a CD, I listen to it a few times and then put it back on the shelf for weeks or months at a time before I give it another listen. There are occasions, however, when I buy a CD and it really grabs a hold of me. On these rare occasions, I become engrossed, almost addicted to the album. Martha Wainwright's self-titled debut has been one of these occasions.

Because of who her family is, it would be easy to immediately dismiss her as "the sister of Rufas," or "the daughter of Louden and Kate McGarrigle." This would be a mistake, because Martha Wainwright's music is distinctly unique and she is a huge talent in her own right.

Her voice is gorgeous, but not in a traditional sense. Her voice has a soulful, high-pitched, eerie beauty, like nothing I've ever heard before. In her delivery, there is a real sense of emotion and feeling that really connects with the listener. With most albums, when you are done listening, you are done. When you are finished with Martha Wainwright's album, you feel as though you had just been visited by a presence, and that feeling stays with you, long after the CD has ended.

From the opening "Far Away", the listener is immediately swept into the CD. This song is subtle, building up ever so slightly, and is slightly underwhelming, which gives the song the perfect effect. The hauntingly beautiful background vocals add a nice touch. The more upbeat "G.P.T." has an infectious, singsong verse before going into its' soulful chorus. The bluesy morose "Factory" shows a more vulnerable side to Martha Wainwright. "These Flowers" has a kind-of a dream-like lullaby atmosphere. "Ball and Chain," (not a cover of the classic Janis Joplin song) sounds somewhat Janis-Joplin like.
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Format: Audio CD
As much as can be made of her genetic predisposition to brilliance, I only know of her parents' work through a couple of songs each. So, all I can base this review on is the absolute brilliance of the album. This is a recording that will stop you dead in your tracks, from beauty to rage to both simultaneously, and done flawlessly. Martha's vocal range is astonishing (I haven't been jolted by a voice so much since I was a kid and heard Kate Bush for the first time) and the songs and arrangements are so tight, so moving, it really takes you to a whole other place. Totally accessible, yet highly unpredictable. And while the McGarrigle voice and Wainwright edge are there, you also can feel the weary beauty of an artist like Lisa Germano or the ravaged nobility of Marianne Faithfull in the mix as well. Just to speculate, imagine the children of immense musical genius a tragically destructive relationship with someone like Joseph Arthur might bring. It would stagger the mind. If you like music and like your music with passion and intelligence, you MUST buy this .
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
As I write this review "[B.M.F.A]" plays on ... again. In addition to being one the best of the best songs in this album -both lyrically and musically- this potentially controversial tune can lead you to appreciate everything that's great about Martha Wainwright's full-length debut.
To begin, it shows the impressive dramatic range she can reach wit her voice, managing to be authentically vulnerable, sincerely outraged and hopeful to reach, perhaps, who the song's about -which from reading some recent reviews may be her father Loudon, whom she has dedicated this song to in concerts. Vocal talents that are also powerfully displayed in many other songs, specially in the beautiful Pop and wrenching lyrics of "Factory," the longing of "Far Away," and the honesty of "TV Show."
In no way less important to what makes this music so moving are, of course the lyrics -penned by her except for "Whither I Must Wander"- which can go from raw confessions (No idea how it feels to be on your own / In your own home / With the f***ing phone / And the mother of gloom / In your bedroom / Standing over your head / With her hand in your head). Or her wondering in "Wild Flowers" that "they are like those children / who go off to school and don't come back / and I am like their mother / waiting around about to crack," yet accepting that "these wild flowers are coming up wild."
Praise must be given too to the arrangements and production -she co-produced- which are rather fitting for what Martha has to say, knowing when to remain understated or propel her voice further.
All in all, this is a marvelous album. The work of a young woman with nothing to apologize for and the strong intention to make war or to make peace with us, depending on what she needs to say.
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Format: Audio CD
I'm proud to say that I have an extremely large libary of eclectic music - from underground hip-hop, to alternative country, to electronica ...and I can say without reservation that this is one of the most amazing albums in my collection. Very rarely do I listen to an album the first time and champion it as one of my favorites - but that is precisely what happened with this album.

To the people who are considering purchasing this album: It's difficult to explain what kind of genre Martha's music falls into. It has elements of country, but it's not country; it has elements of pop, but it's not pop; it has elements of rock, but I wouldnt call it rock... you get the picture. I can tell you that if you enjoy Neko Case, Feist, The Arcade Fire, Wilco, and Regina Spektor (among others), then you'll absolutely love this album. The production and songwriting is phenomenal from beginning to end.

Please do yourself a favor and buy this album, I promise you won't be disappointed. Then do us all a favor and have your friends tell their friends about this album. Martha's here and she's going to be here for a while.
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