Vocal Legend Martha Wash is back with New Album

Very few pop veterans can continue hammering out hits after working for five decades. Very few pop veterans are even confident enough to continue releasing music at all after half as long — notable exclusions are hard to draw examples from, but names like Dolly Parton, Madonna, Paul McCartney, and Elton John come to mind. Still, there’s almost no denying that the strength of their work has suffered diminishing returns with age, and the idea that an artist can truly improve as they progress through life after an initial peak feels almost entirely impossible… almost. Martha Wash is here to see that notion and raise some expectations with her latest album Love & Conflict which, after securing two Grammy nominations and over a handful of chart-topping number one singles in her musical career, just might prove to be her crowning achievement as a solo artist thus far.

FACEBOOK: www.facebook.com/themarthawash/

Most well-known either for her work with The Weather Girls and C&C Music Factory or for her activism and status as a gay icon due to her overwhelming amount of positivity and work done for music representation as well as supporting foundations established to take on HIV/AIDS, Martha Wash is a name worth knowing; even if you think you don’t know her, chances are slim that you truly don’t. Labeled “The Most Famous Unknown Singer of the ‘90s” by Rolling Stone Magazine, her story has never not been fascinating and her time in the sun has been deeply well-deserved. Love & Conflict charts the fiery passion of Wash’s ever-growing musical aspirations across eight tracks, with each song feeling like a unique jewel on the pop idol’s crown; while the project is ultimately a brief one, clocking in at just under thirty minutes, the lasting impression made within its runtime is profound.

Each song works independently as a standout, with the lean tracklist leaving absolutely no space for filler across Love & Conflict’s entirety. “Glamour Flows” works as a funky riff on self-love and unabashed confidence, leading into “Like Fire” which feels almost like a thematic link to the previous song but with a slight bit more patience in its structure. “Soaring Free” takes the tempo even lower, functioning entirely as a soft ballad to contrast the album’s punchy start, but Wash’s vocal performance still rings out as a sheer force. The song features a lilting bridge that will take listeners by surprise before pivoting into a pleasantly weightless chorus. “Flowers Blossom” continues the steadier tempo and offers the album’s heaviest entry, reaching out to anyone who feels stunted in their garden. Just as listeners might expect another ballad, Wash pivots once more with “Never Enough Money,” a throwback pop banger with its crisp organ and sharp lyrics feeling like something straight out of the 1970s.

AMAZON: www.amazon.com/Martha-Wash/dp/B000008M4N

“Don’t Forget My Name” takes production ahead to the ‘80s with a fun electronic beat and vocal effects; the song feels maybe the lightest of the bunch, but its placement in the album’s pacing feels deeply intentional as it leads into “Honey My Friend,” a heartfelt and somber thank you in the form of a warm ballad and Wash’s voice performs here like an overwhelming, much-needed hug. The album’s closer “Rise and Shine” throws any previously established scope and texture into a musical blender by delivering a truly astounding mish-mash of genres, eras, and vocal techniques that blows the album out of the water in all the best ways.

The immense amount of professional technique flexed across Love & Conflict’s tracklist is something to marvel at, and listeners are given the gut feeling that Martha Wash is declaring a deeper return. At least, one can hope.

Clay Burton