Martha Wainwright: Come Home to Mama (V2/Cooperative Music) | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Martha Wainwright

Come Home to Mama

V2/Cooperative Music

Oct 18, 2012 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

With her third full studio album Come Home to Mama, the younger of music’s most beige siblings (Wainwright is the younger sister of musician Rufus Wainwright) since Oasis continues to settle nicely into Canada’s throne of easy-listening bland-pop vacated all those years ago now by Shania Twain. Inoffensiveness remains Martha Wainwright’s byword; she is far less grating than her predecessor’s faux-country schtick, and the good news for her fans is that this latest offering is her strongest and most interesting record yet.

Not that this necessarily makes for a great album, ensured by a Kate-Bush-does-hotel-lounge-jazz thing on the latter half of “Radio Star” and lyrics such as “I really love the make-up sex/It’s the only kind I ever get” sung in a cheese-laden childish melody on “Can You Believe It?” Nonetheless, the decision to allow the bass and seasick synth equal time with the chimes and acoustic guitar on “Leave Behind” is a brave one, if imperfectly executed, and the same can be said of the ‘80s synth pop on “I Wanna Make an Arrest,” which is simultaneously the most adventurous and the most appalling song on the album.

Come Home to Mama deserves praise; despite having a bland title, it’s the album where Wainwright finally comes out with some ideas. The problem is that when they do work, they don’t really go anywhere; “I Am Sorry” has weird beeps and bloops and keeps on with the faux-Kate Bush vocals before Wainwright pushes the impression too far and it becomes pastiche. The Radiohead-esque opening to “Proserpina” lasts but a moment before veering too far into the middle of the road, and every alternate song is a pale photocopy of everything we’ve heard before. (

Author rating: 4.5/10

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Average reader rating: 7/10


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August 17th 2013

Opinions are all well, and Martha Wainwright is an acquired taste. But i expect any serious music reviewer to a) know what they are talking about and b) not make ridiculous statements coming from the fact that they don’t know what they’re talking about. The references to Shania Twain (?!) and your assumption that Canada specializes in “easy-listening bland pop” shows that you know nothing about either the canadian music scene or the difference between an indie singer-songwriter and a mainstream pop star. I rate you as a music writer 0/10.