Martha Wainwright has a big personality. Like her brother, Rufus, she composes folk-based pop tunes with rich melodies, but where he prefers elegance, she seems constantly on the verge of a primal scream. Wainwrights nervous, slightly raspy voice adds simmering tension on the sweetly melancholy Far Away, which could be a Carpenters song gone wrong. She plunges headlong into anger in Ball and Chain, a stormy tale of predatory sexuality, crying, Why does this always happen? then turns to self-loathing, exclaiming, I will not say Im all right for you, accompanied by stark acoustic guitar on B.M.F.A. (a.k.a. Bloody Mother Fucking Asshole). Such confessional angst is never depressing, however: Wainwrights willingness to embrace emotional extremes produces thrilling music thats utterly cathartic.