Since her arresting self-titled debut of 2005, Martha Wainwright has continued to captivate and baffle by turns. This third outing was recorded with Yuka C Honda, formerly of New York quirk-pop outfit Cibo Matto, and the resulting sonics are engagingly offbeat. The songs, meanwhile, tackle the passing of the baton of motherhood following the birth of Wainwright's son and the death of her mother, Kate McGarrigle. She's at her best with candid autobiography (make-up sex on Can You Believe It) and the peculiar Talking Heads funk of Some People. But the po-faced classicism of Proserpina drags, and little here packs the visceral punch of Wainwright's older songs.
Martha Wainwright: Come Home to Mama – review
Kitty Empire is the Observer's pop critic. She has written for NME and occasionally crops up on Radio 4, 5Live, BBC 6Music, and has appeared on BBC2's The Culture Show and Newsnight Review. @kittyempire666