Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Laura Marling, because she can

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FOLK singer Laura Marling has grown up on her second album I Speak Because I Can - hardly surprising as she was a mere 17 years old when the gorgeous Alas I Cannot Swim came out.
No longer a teen, this mature Marling sound is fuller than before, her acoustic folk padded out with a sound akin to the rich tones of Mumford And Sons - showcased best on tracks like Devil's Spoke and Blackberry Stone.
However I do feel, like a blanket of snow, that this padding cools the emotion of her first LP which landed Marling a 2008 Mercury Music Prize shortlisting - with nothing here as raw and haunting as tracks like Ghosts or Night Terror.
As a result this LP is never going to have the longevity of her debut - put it on, you'll hear it for yourself.
That's not a dig at I Speak Because I Can - if ever a second album was a difficult one, this would be it - which more than justifies all the talk, but for Marling such growth upwards is worth nothing if the roots of her appeal are forgotten.

3 comments:

  1. Really? I thought Devil's Spoke was an amazing progression from her (equally amazing) first album - I loved the slightly darker turn she'd made. Not heard the new album yet but based on that single I'm eagerly awaiting it. After your review I'm even more intrigued now!

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  2. Devil's Spoke is one of the better tracks on the new one, for sure, but the new stuff all feels sort of muffled to me.
    You can hear the new album at a few places BTW - try http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/music/article7058679.ece or http://3voor12.vpro.nl/speler/luisterpaal/43225430#luisterpaal.43229432

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  3. Younghegelian17 March 2010 22:11

    I heard Devils spoke for the first time the other day and I was quite shocked! It is quite a dark turn for her, definetely less commercial but far more exciting. Going to have to look into this further

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