Album Review: Mary Gauthier – The Foundling (2009)

Mary Gauthier’s most recent album is a really beautiful, though flawed, exploration of adoption and emotional woundedness–sort of a new take on the old folk music trope of the orphan girl.

For her most recent album, The Foundling, Gauthier has front-loaded the backstory. Press materials describe The Foundling as a concept album about “the emotional journey and aftermath” of Gauthier’s search for the birth mother who abandoned her at an orphanage in New Orleans following her birth in 1962.  Though Gauthier has always done autobiography well, a confessional concept album is a big jump for any artist.  Especially given such personal subject matter, a project like this could easily slip into rhetorical solipsism.  Luckily, Gauthier fares pretty well here, in large part because of her careful way with words.

full review, originally posted on December 1, 2010, at Popmatters

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