Raw and real poetry
Mary Lambert is an American singer-songwriter and spoken word artist who reached mainstream success back in 2013 with help from Macklemore and Ryan Lewis. She worked with them on their The Heist album and was featured on their single “Same Love,” which advocated for LGBTQ+ rights. Lambert used her contribution to “Same Love” and further developed it into her first single “She Keeps Me Warm;” she says the song is heavily inspired by her experience as a lesbian growing up in a harsh Christian environment. Lambert continues to be an LGBTQ+ activist and even a part of the body positivity movement and has written a book titled “500 Tips for Fat Girls.”
Lambert continues sharing her voice and soulful words in her second studio album, Grief Creature. The opening track, “Fine/Finally” is a short song that starts the album on a melancholy note with a sad piano melody, yet seems to invoke hope with the lyrics “She looks happy/ for a girl who is drowning/ I’m fine/ I’m finally done.” With her song “Shame,” listeners continue on a solemn note with lyrics such as “You can’t break me, if I’ve already done it myself/ you can’t shame me, if I’ve already done it myself,” accompanied by a strong piano and sweet vocals that are very reminiscent of many of Sara Bareilles’ popular hits. “Me, Museum” is the first track that features Lambert’s famous spoken word and emphasizes the album’s name with sad and somber strings playing against traumatized words.
Ironically, one of the more upbeat sounding tracks is “Born Sad,” which has a lighter melody and seems to find the beauty and hope in sadness with lyrics like “Keeping my head above water is all that I know how to do/ but it’s kinda beautiful underneath it all.” “Write You a Song” is the first truly happy song on the album and feels like a tried and true love song with a catchy hook and soft, upbeat melody.
There are a few features on this album, but most notably, on track “House of Mirrors.” She brings on the artist that helped get her on the radar: Macklemore. Other features on the album include Maiah Manser on the heartbreaking track “Easy to Leave,” Hollis featured on the sweet-sounding song “Feel with Me” and the last track “Bless This Hell” with Julien Baker.
Perhaps one of the most devastating songs on the album is “Not Ready to Die Yet” with lyrics such as “All of my life I’ve been awake but not here/ I’m not great at living, just surviving nightmares/ I’m not ready to die yet, I’m not ready to give up this fight” which are accompanied by a simple melody and her emotional vocals. Another heart-wrenching track is one of her spoken word pieces titled “Another Rape Poem (Sixteen).” The song shares the story of a traumatizing experience with an almost ominous tune in the background and Lambert continues to use the metaphor of animals as humans found throughout her poetry on this project to help get her message across.
Lambert continues showing listeners raw vulnerability, realism and beautiful poetry on her second album. Grief Creature embodies her soulful sadness and honesty to a T.