Yes, I’ve got it and no I didn’t expect to get it until next month.
But my very generous boyfriend intervened and got it for me.
Sophia, which is the lead single from the album, was released a few weeks ago and it gave me high hopes for the album. The song starts off softly enough, perfectly showcasing not only Marling’s mournful vocals but also her ability with the guitar. She strums along thoughtfully, almost absent mindedly.
When she starts humming you know that there’s more to this song that just the soft crooning and almost immediately the guitar picks up and is played more forcefully as if she’s remembered she’s holding it.
Her voice picks up in volume too and demonstrates her vocal range. But the most impressive thing about the track overall is the lyrics. In my opinion Marling is one of Britain’s best songwriters.
Anyway, with this song I knew that this album was going to be heartfelt and perhaps a little sadder than the ones before. But the thing I forgot was that when it comes to Laura Marling it always takes me a few listens to truly appreciate what she has created.
I popped the CD into my laptop,clicked play and the first song came through the speakers. I wasn’t disappointed but a little underwhelmed. What came out was completely different from her previous work.
Opening track The Muse features Marling with more of a country-style. There’s a banjo jingling in the background alongside a piano which sounds a bit jazzy. It works quite well together but it all seemed too subtle and this is something found in almost every song up to track seven My Friends which was why I was underwhelmed.
Usually when Marling starts something off like that it gets bigger and better throughout without me really noticing. But then I remembered that it took me a couple of tries to fall in love with her last two albums.
So I listened to this one again and again and now I’ve accepted its difference from Alas I cannot Swim and I Speak Because I Can. These songs aren’t really all that subtle once you get into it. There’s always something new to discover with every single listen.
I Was Just A Card is probably her best vocal performance on the album. It’s strong and varied and she reaches notes that usually (with her normally deep voice) I wouldn’t think she could reach. Salinas is undoubtedly a country track. Descriptive and addictive it becomes easy to forget that Marling is only 21.
My Friends has a beautiful introduction which again demonstrates how brilliant Marling is with a guitar and throughout it keeps that beauty even when it speeds up, it’s consistent. I love this track, I love how everything fits together well and works together brilliantly.
Of course the next track is just as amazing. Rest In The Bed is melodic and although it initially sounds calm you can hear the turmoil just beneath the surface. And the last track on the album All My Rage is a good way to end, it’s quite powerful and I think displays everything she’s learned since she started her music career.
I haven’t gone through all of the ten tracks but that doesn’t mean they’re bad, in fact they’re pretty good. But there’s one thing that’s prominent in this release and that’s her heart-break. She wrote it after her break-up with Marcus Mumford (member of Mumford & Sons) and it must have been a huge influence for the songs and the style of the music. It’s even hiding away in her thank you: ‘Here’s to love and logic, two creatures of unceasing cruelty and endless joy.’
- Laura Marling: A Creature I Don’t Know – review (guardian.co.uk)
- Laura Marling – A British Folk Music Artist (musicofourheart.wordpress.com)
- Laura Marling – Shes Better Than Marmite (femaleimagination.wordpress.com)
- Laura Marling interview: ‘I’ve got the confidence now’ (guardian.co.uk)