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Mary Lambert - Grief Creature

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Grief Creature

Mary Lambert

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The follow-up to confessional songwriter Mary Lambert's Top 30-charting full-length debut, Heart on My Sleeve, Grief Creature was five years in the making. Reportedly having undergone many versions -- track selections, song revisions, title changes, shifting release dates -- what emerged is an over hour-long, distinctly personal collection of songs, poems, and musical narratives addressing experiences with sexual assault and various forms of discrimination. Written, produced, and arranged almost entirely by Lambert, she has referred to it as "a breakup album to shame." In the process of working through some heavy trauma and emotional baggage to get to the breakup part, she includes heart-rending adult-pop songs like "Born Sad" and "Easy to Leave" as well as intense spoken-word tracks ("Another Rape Poem") and slicker collaborations with Macklemore and Hollis that don't deviate from the album's vision. It opens with gentle piano and hushed vocals on the brief "Fine/Finally," which has Lambert responding to her own reflection with: "Shit, she looks happy for a girl who is drowning." The poignant pop of second track "Shame" sets the tone for much of the album, whose wistful songs remember abusers, abandoners, and comforters alike. Following Lambert's appearance in 2012 on the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis hit "Same Love," Macklemore is featured here on "House of Mirrors," a brighter, still piano-based entry that finds empowerment in the realization that "It's me against me." But it's Lambert's poetry that makes for the most affecting and candid moments on the album. Accompanied by yearning strings, "Me, Museum" uses the metaphor of a rabid dog in place of an abusive partner of her mother's ("But the dog didn't want kids/The dog would scream it in the hallway at four A.M."). Other such pieces include "Trauma Is a Stalker" and "Knife," which is partly sung. There are less memorable tracks here that land somewhere between poem and song and seem to serve as vehicles for narratives rather than fully developed songs. In contrast, tuneful highlights include "Not Ready to Die Yet," which offers one of the album's strongest vocal performances, and at over seven minutes long, the moving closer "Bless This Hell" features Julien Baker, an indie artist widely noted for her own vulnerable demeanor. Despite its often devastating lyrics and occasional dramatic turns, Grief Creature is an accessible album with a pop-friendly veneer, if its 17 tracks play out like a work for theater as much as a pop album. It's one, it feels, she very much needed to make. ~ Marcy Donelson

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Grief Creature

Mary Lambert

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1
Fine / Finally 00:01:25

Mary Lambert, Writer, MainArtist

2019 ML SINGS LLC 2019 ML SINGS LLC

2
Shame 00:04:32

Mary Lambert, Writer, MainArtist

2019 ML SINGS LLC 2019 ML SINGS LLC

3
Me, Museum 00:04:37

Mary Lambert, Writer, MainArtist

2019 ML SINGS LLC 2019 ML SINGS LLC

4
Sister 00:04:04

Mary Lambert, Writer, MainArtist

2019 ML SINGS LLC 2019 ML SINGS LLC

5
Born Sad 00:03:10

Mary Lambert, Writer, MainArtist

2019 ML SINGS LLC 2019 ML SINGS LLC

6
Write You a Song 00:03:01

Mary Lambert, Writer, MainArtist

2019 ML SINGS LLC 2019 ML SINGS LLC

7
Steady & Sure 00:04:48

Mary Lambert, Writer, MainArtist

2019 ML SINGS LLC 2019 ML SINGS LLC

8
Easy to Leave 00:03:00

Mary Lambert, Writer, MainArtist - Maiah Manser, Writer, MainArtist

2019 ML SINGS LLC 2019 ML SINGS LLC

9
Knife 00:04:00

Mary Lambert, Writer, MainArtist

2019 ML SINGS LLC 2019 ML SINGS LLC

10
House of Mirrors 00:04:22

Macklemore, MainArtist - Ben Haggerty, Writer - Mary Lambert, Writer, MainArtist - Josh Karp, Writer

2019 ML SINGS LLC 2019 ML SINGS LLC

11
Not Ready to Die Yet 00:04:04

Mary Lambert, Writer, MainArtist

2019 ML SINGS LLC 2019 ML SINGS LLC

12
Climbing Out 00:03:17

Mary Lambert, Writer, MainArtist

2019 ML SINGS LLC 2019 ML SINGS LLC

13
Feel with Me 00:03:20

Hollis, FeaturedArtist - Hollis Wong-Wear, Writer - Mary Lambert, Writer, MainArtist

2019 ML SINGS LLC 2019 ML SINGS LLC

14
Trauma Is a Stalker 00:01:44

Mary Lambert, Writer, MainArtist

2019 ML SINGS LLC 2019 ML SINGS LLC

15
If You Ever Leave Somebody 00:03:04

Eg White, Writer - Mary Lambert, Writer, MainArtist

2019 ML SINGS LLC 2019 ML SINGS LLC

16
Another Rape Poem (Sixteen) 00:05:45

Mary Lambert, Writer, MainArtist

2019 ML SINGS LLC 2019 ML SINGS LLC

17
Bless This Hell 00:07:18

Mary Lambert, Writer, MainArtist - Julien Baker, Writer, FeaturedArtist

2019 ML SINGS LLC 2019 ML SINGS LLC

Descrizione dell'album

The follow-up to confessional songwriter Mary Lambert's Top 30-charting full-length debut, Heart on My Sleeve, Grief Creature was five years in the making. Reportedly having undergone many versions -- track selections, song revisions, title changes, shifting release dates -- what emerged is an over hour-long, distinctly personal collection of songs, poems, and musical narratives addressing experiences with sexual assault and various forms of discrimination. Written, produced, and arranged almost entirely by Lambert, she has referred to it as "a breakup album to shame." In the process of working through some heavy trauma and emotional baggage to get to the breakup part, she includes heart-rending adult-pop songs like "Born Sad" and "Easy to Leave" as well as intense spoken-word tracks ("Another Rape Poem") and slicker collaborations with Macklemore and Hollis that don't deviate from the album's vision. It opens with gentle piano and hushed vocals on the brief "Fine/Finally," which has Lambert responding to her own reflection with: "Shit, she looks happy for a girl who is drowning." The poignant pop of second track "Shame" sets the tone for much of the album, whose wistful songs remember abusers, abandoners, and comforters alike. Following Lambert's appearance in 2012 on the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis hit "Same Love," Macklemore is featured here on "House of Mirrors," a brighter, still piano-based entry that finds empowerment in the realization that "It's me against me." But it's Lambert's poetry that makes for the most affecting and candid moments on the album. Accompanied by yearning strings, "Me, Museum" uses the metaphor of a rabid dog in place of an abusive partner of her mother's ("But the dog didn't want kids/The dog would scream it in the hallway at four A.M."). Other such pieces include "Trauma Is a Stalker" and "Knife," which is partly sung. There are less memorable tracks here that land somewhere between poem and song and seem to serve as vehicles for narratives rather than fully developed songs. In contrast, tuneful highlights include "Not Ready to Die Yet," which offers one of the album's strongest vocal performances, and at over seven minutes long, the moving closer "Bless This Hell" features Julien Baker, an indie artist widely noted for her own vulnerable demeanor. Despite its often devastating lyrics and occasional dramatic turns, Grief Creature is an accessible album with a pop-friendly veneer, if its 17 tracks play out like a work for theater as much as a pop album. It's one, it feels, she very much needed to make. ~ Marcy Donelson

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