Mary Lambert: ‘Heart on My Sleeve’ Album Review

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Seattle’s Mary Lambert, best known for her vocals on Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ “Same Love,” has finally released her long awaited album Heart on My Sleeve. While Lambert has had marginal success with her EPs and singles, this is the first full length album from the Seattle native. Creating a classical sound with her powerful voice, Lambert laughs about all the things that make her unique. While also expressing her pain in the more somber parts of the album, Lambert reminds us no one is perfect, and we all share similar struggles in her debut release.

Secrets,” the first song off the album is a catchy and playful tune in which she sings about just that, her secrets. From having bipolar disorder to her familial issues Lambert is an open book about all the things that make her, her. The song has a beat that would find home on any pop album easily, but when the listener keys into the lyrics it becomes something more. It becomes about her struggle and everything she has dealt with along the way. The track is catchy and bubbly, but it has a powerful message attached to it.

The album is piano heavy showcasing Lambert’s playing abilities, and it weaves in and out of a pop and an R’n’B sound. Everything about it is a mix of styles and genres that allows Lambert to stand out as both a singer, songwriter and musician. While Lambert sings and plays piano, she is also a poet. Halfway through the album Lambert takes a moment to showcase this in the track titled “Dear One,” which is accompanied by a piano being played in the background.

While the album begins on a more happy note, the deeper the listener ventures in it becomes somber and even sad at some points. Lambert takes you on journey through her personal struggles, and does so with no fear or worry. No part of the album seems fake or dishonest, and you get to know Lambert on a personal level.

Despite this Lambert does take a moment to cover the 80’s classic “Jessie’s Girl,” which, when done on a piano and violin takes on a whole new life. Everything about the track is hauntingly beautiful. While most covers are usually an upbeat rendition, the song ends up being sad. You feel her yearning to have Jessie’s girl and the unrequited love she feels for her. She manages to make the classic song all her own.

The title track “Heart on My Sleeve,” is more upbeat and speaks about love and coming together in a relationship. The song leads in with a guitar riff that opens up into a drum heavy track, which ends up weaving in and out during the chorus of the song.

The whole album is an introduction to Lambert, who dominates with a powerhouse voice and clean piano-playing skills that are rarely seen anymore. She is honest, genuine, and proves that being yourself is the best way to sell yourself. Heart on My Sleeve is currently available on iTunes and Amazon and more information about Lambert can be found on her website.