Album Review: Martha Wainwright - Goodnight City

8 November 2016 | 11:47 am | Liz Giuffre

"The best type of typical Wainwright - hilarious, dark and gloriously delivered."

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Album opener Around The Bend is the best type of typical Wainwright - hilarious, dark and gloriously delivered.

Throughout the rest of the album this style remains; satisfying the already faithful while leaving lots for the newbies. Traveller, for example, references the Wainwright/McGarrigle dynasty beautifully. Clearly aimed at her late mum Kate and a touching continuing story, and even without this background it still works so well - soaring chorus and cheeky lyrics provided.

Wainwright's heritage and pedigree also emerge with the French break in Look Into My Eyes - supported by a weeping sax, dramatic percussion and a wailing cameo from brother Rufus (by the way - the best compliment - no one wails like a Wainwright). She's just so damn sexy in this mode, there's no other description for it. Convention is broken later in the album with more experimental tracks like Alexandria, while So Down unleashes a sweaty and drum-kit-heavy rock track - a nice tangent. Take The Reins is kinda poppy and eases the pressure of the earlier tracks, but to bring it on home, and if you're feeling sentimental, it's hard to go past the intensity of Somehow. The song lets Wainwright pine for a thing that got away, even though that thing is never really quite articulated, making for an ending to the record that's heartbreaking but in the right way. And, like any really good song, it's almost impossible not to go back and hit 'repeat' as soon as it's over.