Little Red Car Wreck may be the work of both singer/guitarist Mary Water and drummer/synth man Pat Maley, but Motor Like a Mother is undeniably the sole voice of Olympia, WA's Water. And what a voice it is: As one of the best -- albeit one of the most unheard -- debuts of the late '90s, the album feels like one young woman's coming-of-age diary of family, love, life, and adult responsibilities. These are songs of grocery shopping, roller skating, and dishwashing; these are songs of laundry, dirty diapers, and car seats. And while it may not sound very glamorous, that's exactly the point. Motor Like a Mother chronicles with almost obsessive, and sometimes whimsical, detail the day-to-day routines and dreams of -- as one song title states -- a "Teenage Welfare Mother." The result is an album that's wise beyond Water's years, a startlingly honest, impressive, and introspective look at life's ups and downs, ins and outs. And, quite simply, it just may be the most compelling album of 1998.
AllMusic Review by Jimmy Draper