Mary Lambert – “Secrets”

RELEASED: August 05, 2014

Mary Lambert signed to Capitol Records late last year after rising quickly to the upper echelon of the pop charts as the featured vocalist on the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis hit “Same Love.” The EP release that followed, Welcome To The Age Of My Body, included spoken-word poetry and a full-length expansion of the aforementioned vocal hook, “She Keeps Me Warm,” which reached the top twenty of adult top 40 radio earlier this spring. In attempt to launch her upcoming debut album, reportedly entitled Heart On My Sleeve, “Secrets” is more in line with current radio trends, combining a voice that recalls Sara Bareilles or Ingrid Michaelson with bouncy, horn-inflected production. Yet despite such traits that seem somewhat calculated to score a radio hit, “Secrets” is all the better for remaining a little left-of-center. Along with a lighthearted intro and an operatic middle eight that carves her a more distinct niche as an artist, Lambert sings a friendly and relatable narrative that champions unashamed individuality, remarking on topics that range from weight and sexual orientation to family dysfunction and unexpected fashion choices (“I rock mom jeans, cat earrings”), all the while steadfastly proud and unabashed. Tying everything together is the message catchily repeated in the chorus: “I don’t care if the world knows what my secrets are.” Launching from that ascending melody into a repetition of the words “so what?” the melodic line slightly resembles the playfully taunting call of a child, as if Lambert is daring the world to judge her for her imperfections and diversions from the norm. After a string of hits by women challenging societal norms on beauty, individuality, and self-worth, “Secrets” adds to the list with a confident, courageous challenge that rallies against hiding who you are.

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