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4.6 out of 5 stars36
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 4 September 2005
I was immediately struck by Martha's voice when I saw her on a TV show recently.
As the sister of Rufus, and daughter of Loudon Wainwright and (my personal favourite) Kate McGarrigle, Martha has a fine musical pedigree but also a lot to live up to. And that she does! Very much a unique voice and talent.
This has hardly been off my CD player since I bought it a week ago, and is showing signs of real longevity. Listening to Martha's voice is a very nice place to be.
I know I should really only give this 4 stars, because it's absolutely clear that this is merely the beginning; Martha has great potential, both as a songwriter and an interpreter. However, as 90% of reviewers give 5* to anything they like, I'm compelled to follow the trend.
Whilst her own compositions are excellent - I like the opener "Far Away" and "Factory", her spine-tingling performance of "Whither I Must Wander" by the classical composer Ralph Vaughan-Williams shows that Martha is much more than just another rock chick.
If you share my liking for Kate and Anna McGarrigle, Eva Cassidy, Kate Rusby, Sandy Denny etc, then please check out Martha Wainwright.
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on 6 December 2005
I absolutely adore this album. It's a difficult one to pigeon hole but its influences being a mixture of contemporary blues, country, folk, and jazz are very clear but in a very individual and unique package. Quite different from her brother's, father's, mother's and aunt's music, having created something completely of her own in every way. It's great and I think that most people would struggle to dislike it. It's not the happiest album in the world, but a very colourful and rich one nonetheless.
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on 5 April 2005
I was intrigued to see how Martha would enter the music scene - after her brother's fantastic previous albums. The pressure of expectation and comparison must have been enormous.
Judging by the album, if she's nervous about being such pressure, it doesn't show in the slightest.
Comparisons are mixed - on one hand they couldn't sound any more different if they tried. Martha's folk sensibilities and Rufus's flamboyant arrangements are miles apart. However, both have a fantastic grasp of writing deep and meaningful lyrics without cliche and create interesting and original music - they are both on top of their games. Tales of acceptance, love, death, loss, inadequacies - wonderful stuff if you like that type of stuff (and I DO!!!).
The arrangements and key changes sound really fresh on this album - and it sounds natural and not done to be clever. Martha's voice is also quite distinctive (it has a soft raspy quality), and fits the predominantly folk style of music perfectly.
'Bl**dy Mother Fu**ing A**hole' is reported to be about her relationship with her dad - and it's a stunning spitting rant which is certainly one of the albums highlights, and one of the best "F**k you" songs I've ever heard.
'Whither I Must Wander' is a beautiful traditional folk song, and really shows off a softer, purer sound in Martha's voice.
Other personal highlights are 'TV Show', 'Far Away', 'This Life' and 'These Flowers' - but the whole album is truly wonderful.
An incredible disarming debut, and I can't wait to hear more from her.
Enjoy!
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on 31 January 2006
whatever you think this album is going to be like forget it, it will just blow you away. have you ever heard a woman sing like a child one minute with vulnerability showing through. how does she do it? she sings like she's been locked in a tower all these years and someone's finally let her sing her thoughts on an album with beautiful guitar accompanying her. you can while away the day, fantasise about being in some parisian city then sing with her whilst you share the annoyance she has with work, love and growing up.
absolutely bl@@dy magical. best album i've heard in a long long time. inspirational.
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on 15 November 2005
I saw Martha Wainwright perform in London recently and it was a brilliant gig. She sang the bonus tracks that appear on this album with such perfection. But all the songs on this album are all just perfect. The original tracks on the album are wonderful and I cannot find fault in them. BMFA is superb and will have you singing along for hours! Far Away is an idyllic song with beautiful lyrics. Martha Wainwright has one of those completely unique sounds that will mesmerise you and draw you in to her world.
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on 6 December 2005
This is one of those albums that grabs your attention and holds it, from start to finish.
Martha sounds fantastic and has a very talented band behind her.
There isn't a bad track on this album.
It will make you laugh, it will make you cry, it will make you think...
Hard to explain, but it's something really special. Trust me.
Watch out for Martha on tour in 2006!
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on 13 June 2005
Definitely an album to make me cry - Far Away and TV Show utterly brilliant. Tinged with pain, anger and sadness and an amazing voice. What a woman!
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on 15 April 2005
This album is phenomenal. I was laying flowers at her alter after the second play. She has a raw energy and seduction to her voice that puts her in a different stratosphere to other singer/songwriters. Unlike her brother, Rufus, who tends a little towards twee theatricality, she is powerful and demands attention. She is absolutely sure to shine and potentially to outshine her brother. Awesome.
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on 4 May 2005
If you're a fan of her dad Loudin you might be surprised to know that Martha has more in common with him than her mother Kate McGarrigle or brother Rufus. Her lyrics are clever and angry, and yes she has a beautiful voice, but she's not let afraid to let rip and allow her voice to get violent. This isn't a Sunday morning album, it for late on a night when the night has turned sour and you wonder how the hell you ended up with these problems. She'll shake you and soothe you and get you through the night.
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on 2 November 2007
martha wainwright proves on this album that despite all of her vaunted background she is a true original. the songs show great craft, especially BMFA which is perfectly written. and her voice is a wonder. it has the flexibility of mary margaret o'hara's voice and the emotional vastness of jane siberry but is also something completely hers. its really exhilirating the way it can just take off in the middle of a song and go wherever it likes yet still make complete musical sense.

for many years i've been grieving the fact that mary margaret o'hara hasn't been making music but with this album the gap is filled. but she isn't a copycat. like any true talent this musical vision is completely martha's own. and it seems to have sprung complete from her in a way which is very rare. truly wonderful.
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