On sophomore record, Wainwright sings her heart out—almost literally
Daughter of Loudon Wainwright III and Kate McGarrigle and sister to Rufus, Martha Wainwright possesses a spiky voice that can whisper one note and wail the next, moving from recriminating to comforting in the space of a measure. On “You Cheated Me,” a standout track from her new album, she vaults into her upper range for a chorus that’s catchy but accusatory, joyful but self-mocking. On “Tower Song,” she sings conspiratorially, over-enunciating even her oohs and aahs. These vocal swoops and swoons might seem melodramatic if the words behind them weren’t so frank, personable and bite-your-tongue funny, as Wainwright sings about being the other woman, posing spiritual questions and dealing with songwriting family members. If her tough-minded 2005 debut presented her as a scion to her family’s legacy, then I Know You’re Married But I’ve Got Feelings Too portrays Wainwright as a distinctive artist with a caustic sense of humor and a complicated family situation.