I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too

Martha Wainwright

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I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too Review

by Mark Deming

As strong as Martha Wainwright's self-titled debut album was, her second full-length effort, I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too, feels like a dazzling surprise, surpassing the first record in artistry and ambition and offering an even more striking picture of her talents. Wainwright's songwriting is every bit as strong on this collection as on her first album (no small achievement), and her skill at defining a character in words is impressive indeed, with uneven relationships dominating but not entirely defining the many people Wainwright brings to life here. As a singer, she's gone from strength to strength on I Know You're Married; sounding like some remarkable fusion of Kate Bush, Patti Smith, and Kate McGarrigle (the latter happens to be her mom), Wainwright has learned how to draw out the drama from songs like "Comin' Tonight," "Bleeding All Over You," and "The George Song," though she's intelligent enough to do so without sinking into melodrama. And while several different producers worked on this album (most notably Brad Alberta and Martin Terefe), the results have a rich, unified sound and feeling, with Wainwright's powerhouse vocals luring the spotlight from a talented team of studio collaborators (including Pete Townshend, Donald Fagen, Garth Hudson, and Martha's brother Rufus) and meshing with arrangements that gracefully go from the spare to the grandiose. While much has been made of Martha Wainwright's place in a family of very talented musicians, I Know You're Married But I've Got Feelings Too is the work of a singer and songwriter who stands in no one's shadow and has fashioned a striking voice of her own, and that voice is in full and fascinating flight here.

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