Thankfully, Martha Wainwright’s moved on from the poor-little-rich-girl motif of her dad-bashing eponymous debut – by no means a bad album, but to revisit those themes would have made for an intolerably self-indulgent follow-up. Instead, the adulterously ?titled I Know You’re Married But I’ve Got Feelings Too, which certainly has its issues, comes across as more grounded, learned and confident: Wainwright isn’t fighting for a share of the family spotlight any more.
Despite her recent marriage, Wainwright sounds like the chain-smoking other woman waiting by the phone on leadoff single Bleeding All Over You and the equally scornful You Cheated Me, with its voluminous and memorable chorus. A parental theme pops up on In The Middle Of The Night, where Wainwright desperately confronts her mother’s (Kate McGarrigle) cancer scare in a rousing folk stomp. And holy shit, what a guest list: Pete Townshend, Donald Fagen, Garth Hudson, among others. Actually, judging by this impressive second album, they’re lucky she called them.
Martha Wainwright hits the Mod Club Friday (June 6); Harbourfront July 1.