Parenthood is great and all, but there are still times when you want to hire a babysitter, dress up nice and hit the town like you used to. So it is with Sara Hickman, returning to the world of grown-up music after an extended sabbatical making children's records. Based on this ambitious two-disc concept album about the large, small and in-between joys and frustrations of parenthood, she even hired a limo for the occasion. Motherlode is split into one disc called "The Mirror (Of Despair)", and another called "The Thread (Of Happiness)". A dozen songs are covers, and the tone is pretty heavy and serious throughout. Except for a dead-on version of Amy Rigby's "Are We Ever Gonna Have Sex Again?", you may find yourself wishing for Hickman to indulge her impish sense of humor a bit more. That said, Motherlode is exceptionally well-done, with Hickman's beautiful voice on fine display. Tears For Fears' "Mad World" sounds like it was written for Hickman to cover, and the Rolling Stones' "Mother's Little Helper" makes a perfect little curveball. Most affecting of all is Tricia Mitchell and Monte Warden's "Twenty Years To Life", a tragic song about the metaphorical prison of a brutal marriage becoming a literal one.