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The Boston Globe

Music

Album Review | FOLK-POP

Martha Wainwright, ‘Come Home to Mama’

Martha Wainwright was desperately in need of a course correction after 2008’s “I Know You’re Married But I’ve Got Feelings Too,” which found her adrift as she forced her gifts into the mold of a run-of-the-middle adult-contemporary singer-songwriter. Having gotten an Édith Piaf tribute (and a baby) out of her system since, she reorients herself admirably with “Come Home to Mama.” With her bruised, often feather-light voice seeking out any perch it can grasp, songs like “All Your Clothes” and “Everything Wrong” hew more closely to the folk-based (but not folk-bounded) emotional probings and crepuscular glow of her debut. And then there’s “Proserpina,” in which Wainwright takes on the myth of Ceres. As a spare piano pushes forward and a mournful choir backs her lament, she unsheathes a heartbreaking maternal desperation deep enough to plunge the entire world into winter. (Out Tuesday) Marc Hirsh

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