“Mama Proud” by Annette Adler
Mama Proud is the triumphant new album from California singer/songwriter Annette Adler. Capturing the devotion and love of parenting, Adler’s charming Americana-infused tracks are spry and lively. Discovering these songs is like flipping through a memory book or family album. From the opening title track that sets the scene with a vibrant array of piano and gentle acoustic guitar, to the closing “Mama Bear”, a ferociously fun outing, Adler lets us listeners in on her world and reminds us how we can all be connected. It’s all about love and family.
Right away you will be struck by the clarity and the sunshine sewn into Adler’s voice. She sings as though she were an educator – like her audience has been school-aged children for some time. I’m not being negative or chastising her – he’s as real as they get. You feel cozy and alert. You want to keep listening because she’s so engaging. The guitar work bleeds into each of the music bedrocks with angelic-like bursts. It’s as if the guitar were the golden layers – the last sheen on the multi-layered patchwork. At times the guitar and the accompanying piano have a nice little dance – their tender moments are pure. Adler’s voice is the perfect topping.
One of my favorite tracks on Mama Proud is “Moments I Take”. I enjoyed how this song had a bit more urgency, more spring in its step. It’s not that the other songs are labored or lethargic. Absolutely not. “Moments I Take” reminded me, lyrically, of The Beatles’ “In My Life”. I felt so connected to the way Adler contemplates the growth of her son. He’s now a young man and she’s so beholden to the times she’s had with him and is optimistic the future will have many more milestones. It’s a wonderful bridge to finding those similar moments in your own life. Even if you’re not a parent, perhaps you can admire the love it takes to help raise a child (nephew, niece, cousin, sibling, etc.). “Moments I Take” energized me in a very unexpected way.
I also loved the closer, “Mama Bear”. I was thinking this might be sad or even daunting. It’s really heartfelt (just like all the songs are). I loved the lines “I’m in your head no matter where you” and she also makes note to “stay out of your way”. This song really encapsulated much more than being a mother. It also reminded me of the idea that when a parent becomes a grandparent or even an ‘in-law’ they are still tasked with parenting. They just have to take in the moments and know when to trust and when to advise. Adler excels at painting this picture to
A special nod to “All The Answers” and “Keeping It Together”. These songs were also excellent. Adler has herself a new fan and judging by the way she writes songs; my guess is that her family (especially her kids) are her biggest fans. They should be very proud of their mom.