Number two in today's album reviews...
This young lady has grown up. On her own admission, Marling's second album, I Speak Because I Can, deals with "responsibility, particularly the responsibility of womanhood". Following up the phenomenal, Mercury nominated debut, Alas, I Cannot Swim, was going to be very difficult for Marling though she has done a wonderful job of it.
I am a little late to the party when it comes to this one, I must admit. The album was released on March 22nd... Though during the last month it is safe to say that the wave of universal acclaim has not abated.
Marling's glorious vocal and stunning poetic lyricism are present here, though her growth in between her last release and this one is very clear. Now 20, Marling is embracing her womanhood and all that comes with it.
It is well known that Laura Marling travels in the same musical circles as Noah & The Whale, the Mystery Jets and Mumford & Sons. It seems that the two of these three have had a heavy influence on this record - it is reminiscent in parts of Noah & The Whale's stunning The First Days of Spring in terms of the orchestral and emotional depth (see: Blackberry Stone on Marling's record), while tracks such as The Rambling Man, Devil's Spoke and Made by Maid all seem to have taken a pinch of the bluegrass that marked Marcus Mumford and co. on Sigh No More.
All these factors melt together with the poetic lyrics and simplistic guitar that allowed Marling's debut to stand out to result in a simply glorious work. To think that she is just 20 years of age is frightening, such is the maturity of the sound on this record. It is difficult to compare Marling to other musicians, such is the poetic style of her lyricism.
A triumph for Ms. Marling. I am looking forward to seeing her at this summer's Oxegen festival, purely on the basis of this album. Equally hopeful and melancholic, it is a poetic and beautiful record constructed with the maturity of someone who's been performing at the top for generations.
Check out Hope in the Air, Made By Maid, Devil's Spoke, Blackberry Stone and The Rambling Man.
Laura Marling, I Speak Because I Can: 8.0/10
- Cork, Ireland
- An Irish based alternative music blog. Music news, gigs, live reviews, album reviews... You'll find them here. If you want anything featured or removed, please shout. I hope you'll discover something new to love on this little experiment of mine. Currently editing the Music Section of the UCC Express and contributing to Motley magazine on campus, as well as writing for PopCultureMonster and 4FortyFour. Always looking for new projects so please get in touch if interested. Thanks for reading.