Album Preview: Martha Wainwright | Come Home to Mama

In less than a week you'll be able to purchase, from those lovely boys down at Amoeba, the new album of original material by Martha Wainwright. If you haven't made her acquaintance yet, your time has come.

Martha Wainwright is a songwriter par excellence with mercurial, jazzy vocals and a punk/folk sensibility. She's part enchantress, part coquette, part showstopper. Born into Canadian folk and raised on Cyndi Lauper and Prince, her range is almost as impressive as her ear and her knack for songwriting. It's time you got to know her. Her EPs and small releases have been trickling in since the late 1990's; her first full-length debut was her eponymous LP (which followed an eponymous EP), followed by "I Know You're Married But I Have Feelings Too," and an album of Edith Piaf songs titled "Martha Wainwright's Edith Piaf Record." We also highly, highly recommend the "Factory" EP and "Bloody Motherfucking Asshole."

Wainwright's new album, "Come Home to Mama," is both an exciting return to original material (after the Piaf album) and a departure in style, if not in tone: she's worked with a new producer on this one, and the sound is very slightly more electronic, with the same straight folk songwriting technique and rock sensibility as her earlier music. One of the album's highlights is Proserpina, a Kate McGarrigle song written but never recorded by Wainwright's late mother. The album, Wainwright has said, is both a tribute to her mother and a way to articulate being a mother herself, two events that occurred for Wainwright at the same time two years ago. And we can't recommend it highly enough. If there's one record you're going to take a chance on this fall, give this a shot. It's got the fully-developed vision and rounded, complete sound of a fully-fledged full length album; it's worth bringing into your life.

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Album preview martha wainwright