Originally released in 1992, the seventh MatM studio album was recorded in bedrooms between 1988-91 while Martha Johnson and Mark Gane were living in Bath, England and was completed upon their return to Toronto. A major departure stylistically from their 1986 release, "The World Is A Ball", "Modern Lullaby" is a introspective, sonically rich combination of uptempo and quieter songs that reflect the beautiful, dreamy city it was recorded in. Featuring David Piltch, (k.d. lang, Mary Margaret O'Hara) on bass, Stuart Gordon, (Peter Gabriel, Massive Attack, Tori Amos) on violin, Michael Sloski, (Bruce Cockburn, Mary Margaret O'Hara) and original Muffin drummer, (and Mark's brother), Tim Gane on additional percussion as well as sound advice from Paul Ridout, (Peter Hammill, Clannad).
Reverting back to their old name for their first new release in six years, Martha and the Muffins, still the duo of Mark Gane and Martha Johnson, deliver a somewhat more mature, and very melodic sound. That is not to say the album is slow or bland; in fact, quite the opposite. Mark Gane continues his fascination with layered sounds, supporting the group's distinct pop style. This CD also features some of the finest songs they have written. "Rainbow Sign" is a standout, augmented by fabulous violin playing from Stuart Gordon. "Everybody Has a Place" is another fine track with a mellow tune, full of interesting sounds, and very nice singing from Martha. A well-produced and well-played album, full of incredible songs, that demonstrates that some bands are able to mature and still release very relevant and essential music. A must for Martha and the Muffins fans.
ALL MUSIC GUIDE
"It's been far too long since the cool, occasionally detached Toronto duo of Mark Gane and Martha Johnson had their hits…Rainbow Sign is already getting nibbles at MUCH and Fighting The Monster is the likely follow-up…the pair deserves to be heard again."
"M+M have always made unique albums, each one different from the other with nary a dud to be found and certainly devoid of filler. This one is no disappointment. From the opening track To Dream About You, with its Jon Hassel-like trumpet sounds wiggling around in the background to the unlikely violin work in Fighting The Monster, the duo again prove their capacity for inventing fresh and durable music. Fans will love it."
"Johnson's voice has never sounded better, whether she's giving strong and throaty vocals to songs like Fighting The Monster or singing smoothly and melodically as in Show Me Your Magic."
THE OTTAWA CITIZEN
Mark Gane & Martha Johnson