Mary Lambert, ‘Heart on My Sleeve’ (Capitol Records)
It’s no surprise that the title of Mary Lambert’s debut album starts with “Heart.” The word shows up in nearly every song as a metaphor for love, but also self-acceptance. That combination of sincerity and empowerment makes “Heart on My Sleeve” a winning effort, and a surefire hit.
Lambert broke through to the mainstream with her memorable vocal on Macklemore’s hit “Same Love,” and she used that to become the first Macklemore-related local to score a major label deal. But Lambert actually started in poetry slams, and that skill is what drives this album.
Almost every song is self-confessional, none more than opener “Secrets,” where she discloses her bi-polar disorder, but also that she “rock[s] mom jeans.” “They tell us from the time we’re young / to hide the things that we don’t like about ourselves.” Those lyrics are set to infectious radio-ready anthematic pop.
But among her deep confessionals there is also whimsy, including a fun cover of Springfield’s “Jessie’s Girl.” There’s no “heart” in those lyrics, but Lambert’s is always on display in this promising debut.
Charles R. Cross, Special to The Seattle Times
Other new releases
U2: “Songs of Innocence” (Interscope)
Jesse J: “Sweet Talker” (Lava Music/Republic)