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Mary Lambert (Pop/Rock): Heart on My Sleeve *

Album Notes

A year after her vocals on Macklemore & Ryan Lewis' "Same Love" made her into a star, Mary Lambert delivered Heart on My Sleeve, her full-length debut. Unlike Welcome to the Age of My Body, her time-buying 2013 EP, this downplays Lambert's roots as a poet, instead positioning her as a somewhat conventional singer/songwriter. This means, despite a doleful voice-and-piano reading of Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl," Heart on My Sleeve resembles the immaculate melodicism of Sara Bareilles more than the elusive, elliptical Tori Amos. Lambert may find space for a passing piece of poetry and mildly incongruous cameos from Angel Haze and K. Flay (their appearances feels like a nod to her own hip-hop-fueled rise), but the heart of the record lies in sweetly melancholic adult contemporary that is easy to digest. Coming after the willfully quirky Welcome to the Age of My Body, this shift is something of a surprise, but by emphasizing melody and feel over art and angst, Lambert's come up with a debut that goes down quite smoothly. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine



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