Release Date: Jun 10, 2008
Record label: Zoe
We live in a time of strange and unprecedented musical sub-genres: who, for example, could have predicted that Enter Shikari would attract so much attention with a blend of screamo punk and epic Faithless-influenced trance? But perhaps no current music phenomenon is as odd as the sub-section of the singer-songwriter genre entirely devoted to songs about what a crap bloke Loudon Wainwright III is. His former wife and sister-in-law Kate and Anna McGarrigle kicked things off a decade ago with the title track of their album Matapédia, but it's in recent years that the concept has really blossomed. Son Rufus offered to give him a thump on Dinner at Eight, while his daughter Martha coyly alluded to her anger towards him on her debut single Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole.
Thankfully, Martha Wainwright’s moved on from the poor-little-rich-girl motif of her dad-bashing eponymous debut – by no means a bad album, but to revisit those themes would have made for an intolerably self-indulgent follow-up. Instead, the adulterously ?titled I Know You’re Married But I’ve Got Feelings Too, which certainly has its issues, comes across as more grounded, learned and confident: Wainwright isn’t fighting for a share of the family spotlight any more. Despite her recent marriage, Wainwright sounds like the chain-smoking other woman waiting by the phone on leadoff single Bleeding All Over You and the equally scornful You Cheated Me, with its voluminous and memorable chorus.
It's been so long (three years) since Martha Wainwright's self-titled debut that at least one critic began to worry that her career would be subsumed by that of big brother Rufus. That worry's all for naught, thankfully, because I Know You're Married produces a scorcher. While slightly less autobiographical than her debut, full-length two still spins deeply personal and no less affecting, with reflections on war ("Tower Song") and her mother's cancer ("In the Middle of the Night").