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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Her Best So Far!, 9 April 2010
By 
Boswell (Cheshire UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Foundling (Audio CD)
Mary is definitely an acquired taste - an 100% cult artist. But that doesnt mean that her music isnt accessable. This album is superb. Its a twelve track song cycle that tells the story of an abandoned childs journey through life. The subject matter is quite bleak and sad at times but somehow the whole feel of the album is positive and uplifting. Mary's voice has never sounded better and the sparse acoustic backing is spot on. It may take a few plays to latch on to what "The Foundling" is all about but its worth it. A masterpiece!
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars HEART WENCHING STUFF, 29 May 2010
By 
Michael Nicholl (Derry. Ireland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The Foundling (Audio CD)
This is Mary Gauthier's seventh studio album (Sixth if you discount last year's mini anthology). She has to be one of the finest and most articulate singer-song writers around for the past few years and she never fails to deliver anything less than a top quality product. Anyone who has listened to her past releases will be acutely aware that she writes from the heart in a very open and honest way, giving us snippets of her childhood (Dixie Kitchen / Filth & Fire), her adolesence (Drag Queens in Limousines), her love life (Dixie Kitchen / Mercy Now / Filth & Fire / Between Daylight & Dark), but here in 'The Foundling' she lays her heart bare for us all to see. The topic of adoption is tackled head on with no beating around the bush. She lets us see the pain she has carried of her rejection by her birth mother who gave her up for adoption. She tells us of her long search to make contact only to find rejection again. Just listen to the words of 'March 11, 1962' recounting her making contact by telephone with her birth mother;

"You say that you love me
But I'm a secret you can't tell
And the hole you hide is wider
Than the waiting gates of hell
You wish you'd done it different then
But you did not know how
And its too late to change any of it now"

March 11. 1962 is an extremely moving song as is that which preceeds it 'Blood is Blood'. The entire collection of songs is truly thought prevoking and heart wrenching. Her vocal delivery conveys her pain and sorrow, listen to the title and opening track, 'The Foundling' or 'Mama Here, Mama Gone' or any one of the tracks and you will see what I mean.

Due to the personal and emotional involvement with this project by Mary Gauthier, is feels somewhat wrong to champion one track over another as in essence all are interlinked and dependant on the others, but I would say that simply based on their musical superiority, Blood is Blood and March 11, 1962 are the two outstanding songs.

This is not Mary's best album to date, that honour, I believe is jointly held by Drag Queens and Filth and Fire, but it is a superb return to form and streets ahead of almost anything else currently out there. All songs here bar 'Goodbye' which appeared earlier on Filth & Fire are new. If you really appreciate excellant writing, great song delivery and and an artist who is not afraid to tackle her demons so to speak, you really must listen to Mary Gauthier. Any of her excellant albums is a great starting point, particularly the first three and now ther latest 'The Foundling' continues a fine tradition of excellant song writing.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leicester Bangs Review (2011):, 9 Feb 2011
By 
Leicester Bangs "words-R-us" (Leicester, England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Foundling (Audio CD)
Mary Gauthier - The Foundling (Proper)
"The Foundling" is basically Mary Gauthier's early life and its consequences set to music. Adopted at birth, the album explores her feelings regarding parental rejection, and in later life, making contact with her birth mother, only to be rebuffed a second time. In clumsier hands, "The Foundling" might have been a little too much like hard work for many listeners, but Gauthier's an excellent songwriter with a gossamer touch, and it's impossible not to be touched by her reminiscences and incites.

Produced by Cowboy Junkie Michael Timmins, and aided by fellow Cowboy Junkie Margo Timmins and Band-man Garth Hudson, Gauthier's songs are framed in a sympathetic setting and although lyrically she lets rip with a few home truths, the album's never less than wholly accessible. 9/10.

Note. I'm not sure where it's available, perhaps Mary Gauthier's website, but there's a second album available, entitled "The Foundling Alone". These are the original songs recorded as demos by Gauthier and Michael Timmins at their first meeting. Keep a look out for it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An outstanding album, 18 April 2012
By 
Sid Nuncius (London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Foundling (Audio CD)
What a fantastic album! This is a work about Mary Gaultier having been given up for adoption when very young, the pain the knowledge of it has brought her and her attempt to contact her birth mother. It is a superb work, with one fabulously evocative song after another - each one lyrically haunting, musically wonderful and beautifully arranged and produced with strong influences from Gaultier's native New Orleans.

The whole thing is extremely moving, but the two central songs on the album are exceptional, I think. The sheer pain in her voice as she sings "Blood Is Blood" will pierce your heart and "March 11, 1962," which is half spoken and half sung, reduced me to tears. Very, very few songs have ever done that. I found real understanding and personal resonances here, so although it is about a desperately sad subject I didn't find it depressing at all. I think Mary Gauthier gives real insight in these songs and they do what good songs are supposed to - they convey deep human feelings and experiences from one person to another.

Not one to play to get you in the mood for a wild night out, that's for sure, but a truly outstanding album and one that deserves to become a classic. Very, very warmly recommended to anyone who likes an intelligent, thoughtful and tuneful collection of songs.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mary's life story - dark and brooding, but worth a listen., 18 Oct 2010
By 
Peter Durward Harris "Pete the music fan" (Leicester England) - See all my reviews
(No. 1 Hall OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Foundling (Audio CD)
The first thing to say is that this album is definitely not background music. It is a downbeat album, but Mary has a very moving story to tell. Born illegitimately in the days when it was an unspeakable sin for a woman to give birth to a child outside of marriage, Mary was eventually adopted. Having read Kate Adie's book Nobody's Child about foundlings, I have at least some understanding of the issues, though I thankfully have no personal experience of the subject.

It is worth noting that while foundlings are sometimes referred to as orphans, they aren't usually orphans. Foundlings are people who were abandoned as babies and rarely find out who their real parents are. As such, they may have similar problems to orphans, but there is a stigma attached to foundlings that isn't attached to orphans. No wonder this album is so melancholy, but I knew what to expect when I bought it, and no wonder that Mary sometimes uses the word orphan in her lyrics rather than foundling; Mary knows the difference all too well.

The songs tell Mary's story, but in some way I suspect they tell the story of many foundlings. Even those among us who were raised by our birth parents can often relate in some way to the sadness. As a child, I experienced a lot of sadness that I won't go into here, so I can still feel some empathy for Mary. Particularly sad is the one titled March 11, 1962 (the date of Mary's birth), which is actually about the telephone call she made to her birth mother after she'd hired a private detective to trace her. Some foundlings are lucky to find that their mothers are happy to agree to a reunion, but others like Mary learn that the mother won't agree to a reunion.

The music is sparse but there is more variation than I expected. While this may not be the easiest album to listen to, it was never meant to be that. Full lyrics are provide and I usually follow these while listening to the music. It's that kind of album, but if you have the patience to give it the attention it needs, you're likely to enjoy it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A lyrically haunting and achingly beautiful cd, 27 Mar 2014
This review is from: The Foundling (Audio CD)
Like many I came to MG's music through a tv detective series. I already have "Mercy Now" but in spite of the subject matter that "The Foundling" addresses this far surpasses "Mercy Now".. Each beautifully crafted song varies in its rhythms and arrangements so there is a good variety of styles although never straying too far from what might be loosely referred to as Americana/alt Country.

With all due respect to Lucinda Williams I could imagine her listening to this with envy and thinking "this is the cd I should have made"
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4.0 out of 5 stars Mary Gauthier The Foundling, 25 Nov 2012
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This review is from: The Foundling (Audio CD)
I just love all of Mary Gauthier's music but this cd took a little while for me to get into. Nonetheless it is Mary once again telling us how it really is and reaching into the heart. Another good one to add to the collection.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Soul-baring biographical album, 11 Dec 2011
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This review is from: The Foundling (Audio CD)
I saw Mary Gauthier live in 2003 in a small venue, was very impressed by her full-on performance and subsequently acquired her 2002 and 2004 albums. Both these are very strong albums which I've listened to often. This 2010 release is, though, a more complex beast.
This is a themed album/song-cycle - re Mary's feelings about key events of her life. She was given up by her natural mother at birth, subsequently sought out her mother 40+ somewhat troubled years later (after much effort) but was again rejected.
The album has 10 songs + 2 short instrumental interludes + a wrapping up coda - over 45 minutes in total. The songs are all written by MG, some in conjunction with co-writers. Mary is the main vocalist supported by a range of musicians/instruments (her own guitar, other guitars, accordion, fiddle, trombone, percussion, keyboards).
Mary has an expressive voice with a Southern "drawl" very much suited to dark tales; the instrumental support is varied and complementary.
There are several very good stand alone tracks on this album (not as many as on her other albums I believe) but the album largely hangs on the personal theme.
To say this album is "heart on sleeve" would be an understatement - it's more a ripping open of the ribcage and a spilling out of heart and guts. I don't believe I'll be listening to this as often as MG's other albums but as a work of emotional integrity it's top notch. Anybody looking for a fun listen should avoid, those into sincere soul-baring will find it very rewarding.
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5.0 out of 5 stars GUT WRENCHING, 28 Nov 2011
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This review is from: The Foundling (Audio CD)
I bought all of Mary's albums at once having heard Mercy Now on a tv program soundtrack. It is very rare that I take to a singer like this. Not straightaway. I didn't have to listen several times for it get into me and grow on me. No. She got under my skin right away. I needed no explanation. I knew of what she is singing. Her voice, all gravel and compassion, suits her songs so well. I could not imagine any other voice singing them. This is not background music but music you sit and absorb. Listen and you'll get it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic album, 18 Jun 2010
This review is from: The Foundling (Audio CD)
This is the best album by Mary Gauthier this far. Strong songs and bare on the bone lyrics. Will be rated as one of the best albums of 2010.
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