‘Goodnight City’ is the last album by Martha Wainwright, the daughter of American folk singer and actor Loudon Wainwright II and Canadian folk singer-songwriter Kate McGarrigle, notable because she was raised in a musical family since she her childest. Released via Cadence Music and PIAS Recordings, the album was produced by bassist Brad Albetta (actually Wainwright’s husband) and Thomas Bartlett and with many guest contributers by novelist Merrill Garbus, Glen Hansard, Michael Ondaatje and Beth Orton. Later than members from the same Wainwright family. Because of the several contributions the album is notable for its various contents. ‘Around the Bend’ (the album’s lead single), ‘Franci’ , ‘Traveller’ are what we could define as good pop folk songs actually good to be played on the radio because their easy-listening sonorities; ‘Look Into My Eyes’ (co-written with her aunt, Anna McGarrigle), along with ‘Francis’ (written by her brother, Rufus), ‘Window Jazz’ have got indeed a very most old-fashioned style. Martha shows all her skills as ‘chanteuse’ and her incredible melodious voice (she proudly exceed herself on ‘Piano Music’) on a substrate of suggestive jazzy piano atmosphere, sometimes accompanied by stylous saxophone solos. On the middle there’re songs characterized by a certain pop style that surely could you make think to his brother Rufus, ‘Alexandria’, ‘Before The Children’, ‘Take the Reins’ and ‘Francis’, which was actually written by Rufus himself, who is probably more talented and much more eclectic than Martha and in a certain sense a true international pop-star. Not because of this, on the other hand, we couldn’t not appreciate the good qualities of Martha, a singer and and interpreter able to make her all kind of songs and of every style and written by several authors. Another example? Listen to ‘So Down’. A track completely different from all of the others. In a style of a rock female singer as Patti Smith and garage sonorities of the scene of New York in the late seventies. An aggressive side of Martha that I found very interesting and that she never had revealed before. Good album and at the same time much etherogeneous. Probably too much.
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