Some have labeled Martha Wainwright's vocal stylings as ear-piercing, going so far as to liken her to cat-screeching or nails on a chalkboard. If that is how you see it, then that is how you see it. I personally adore the cracks in her voice and to apparent strains she gives each of her words, for they add such emotional depth and clarity to her lyrics. She is a true artist (but, I mean her father IS Loudon Wainwright, so that figures...RIGHT?) and it shows all over this beautifully tailored EP.
For me, the standout here is the salon inspired `How Soon', which places Martha in the company of a piano and lends her a Norah Jones' vibe that flourishes under her coarse vocal delivery. The song has an edge to it that perfectly contradicts the softness of the piano.
`When the Day is Short' is another song that I really love. It has a spunk to it that really engages the listener. There is a soft and happy vibe to the song that, again, proves a perfect contradiction to Martha's broken vocals. `I Will Internalize' is a song that definitely plays to Martha's vocal strengths. The musical arrangement is less whimsical and more intimate, channeling the harshness of her voice into the sharpness of the guitar. It's a stunningly moving musical experience.
The title track, `BMFA', is no where near as edgy as it needed to be to sell the `necessity' of that title. It's a decent song, but it is lacking (despite the fact that her voice is marvelous here).
For me, `It's Over', is the worst song here. This is the one track where Martha really tries to go somewhere distinct and make some kind of different choices musically, but it just doesn't work. It comes off forced and misplaced. I can see what she was trying to do, but it just doesn't pull it off entirely.
As a whole, this is a commendable effort. For an EP it is strong. I love her work and will laud her as an artist for a long time to come. If you aren't familiar with her then this is a nice place to start, for it gives you a good indication of who she is and what she is capable of. This isn't her best work, but it is solid and won't disappoint!