Mary Lambert, ‘Welcome to the Age of My Body’ (Capitol)
Mary Lambert was the voice of the chorus on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ hit “Same Love,” and she’s the first Macklemore-associated act to get picked up by a major label. “Body Love,” broken into two parts on this EP, examines the challenges of being female in a society that objectifies women.
“I only know how to exist when I am wanted,” she sings.
It’s a moving song, but rises above politics to become a message about the human struggle to find faith and self-acceptance.
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“Sarasvati” is a more experimental track, but also showcases Lambert’s voice well. “She Keeps Me Warm,” however — the world-famous refrain embedded in Macklemore’s “Same Love” — is too cleaned up and overproduced on this EP for my taste. That may be what radio needs to make it a hit, but I much prefer the song live, or the streaming version on KEXP’s website.
There, Lambert’s already-beautiful voice is raw, true, and unadorned — which is the essence of the “be yourself” message in her powerful songwriting. Still, “She Keeps Me Warm” is a winning song, probably an R&B hit, and Mary Lambert is most certainly a star in the making.
Charles R. Cross
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Aquariana, “Aquariana” (Drag City)
Jerry Garcia Band/Bob Weir and Rob Wasserman, “Fall 1989: The Long Island Sound” (ATO)