• Record Label: Zoe
  • Release Date: Apr 12, 2005
Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Martha Wainwright proves Martha Wainwright has a strong, distinct, fully formed musical identity, which would be just as impressive by any other name.
  2. It's her fierce nature -- whether saucy and confident or just plain wrecked -- that makes every twist and turn of this impressive debut so easy to fall in love with.
  3. Her songs are tough and earthy, hating mere prettiness when fieriness or forcefulness are required.
  4. Martha has proven to be not just a worthy pupil of such domestic tutelage, but a musician of equal caliber.
  5. She's not easy-listening: Martha hisses and purrs, fearlessly articulating anxiety with a lurid charisma.
  6. Wainwright exhibits a rare talent as a confessional singer/songwriter; her album is an impressive, not to mention emotive, first LP from an ambitious artist unwilling to cling to her family’s famous coattails.
  7. Though accenting the vulnerability her vocals naturally possess, she manages world-weary honesty and summoned strength rather than contrived sentimentality.
  8. Martha takes the golden era of folk and mixes it with modern thematic flair. [#9]
  9. A confident and accomplished debut, and a pleasant, agreeable diversion.
  10. It shows off a fantastic songwriting talent, if not conveying the live magic.
  11. Nothing on her self-titled debut full-length is "genius" or "brilliant," but the material is consistently well written and occasionally very good.
  12. Her walk down the dark side of life and love is often heartbreakingly upfront. [10 Apr 2005]
  13. 80
    This is special, many-layered stuff. [May 2005, p.108]
  14. 80
    Packed with brilliant, bohemian songs that combine affecting lyrical honesty, beguiling melodies and a voice that has a touch of Alanis Morissette. [May 2005, p.96]
  15. 80
    She's just as acute as [Rufus] is, as centered on the poetry within the profane, as able to write songs whose meanings stay kept behind doors within doors. [May 2005, p.125]
  16. Her voice is a thing of wonder. [Apr 2005, p.123]
  17. Some of Brad Albetta's production veers toward generic pop and threatens to bury both Wainwright's distinctive voice and her lyrics. [Apr/May 2005, p.131]
  18. Imagining an all-acoustic version of Martha Wainwright hints at the true potential lurking beneath the strings and high-calorie programmatic flourishes that, while undeniably pretty, detract unnecessarily from the eponymous focal point.
  19. While the material may not translate terribly well into the live milieu, this debut is the perfect accompaniment for an intimate evening spent at home with candles and wine.
  20. Wainwright's barbed lyrics about love and relationships sound like she scrawled them on a whiskey-soaked night. [22 Apr 2005, p.62]
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 28
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 28
  3. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. Robert
    Aug 26, 2006
    10
    One of the most honest singers I've ever heard. Her voice is so soar and beautiful that you can't do anything else exept be moved by it.
  2. Alex
    Jul 27, 2006
    9
    she totally rocks. she has a fabulously unqiue voice, and her lyrics kick ass. B.M.F.A has to be one of the greatest songs I've heard in she totally rocks. she has a fabulously unqiue voice, and her lyrics kick ass. B.M.F.A has to be one of the greatest songs I've heard in quite some time. Full Review »
  3. JoeG
    Feb 23, 2006
    10
    Up there with Joni Mitchell's Blue in many respects, and I urge lovers of that classic to give this a go. Martha's voice and the Up there with Joni Mitchell's Blue in many respects, and I urge lovers of that classic to give this a go. Martha's voice and the way she uses it means she could sing the phone book and sound great. Thankfully she has her own songs which are as engaging as her voice and eminently playable if you have a guitar to hand. Lovely warm production too, perfect for late night listening. My favourite of 2005, so it's a 10 from me. Full Review »