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Album Review
A Creature I Don’t Know

A Creature I Don’t Know
by Laura Marling

Ribbon Music

Review Date
14th October 2011
Reviewed by
Janine Harrison

Laura Marling is a rare creature herself: two critically acclaimed albums, she is long the face of the new UK folk movement. She has inspired artists both new and old (Ryan Adams recently claimed he had to rewrite his new album after hearing her second album “I Speak because I Can”) and all by the tender age of twenty-one.

“A Creature I don’t Know” is her third album in four years. Her voice is ever distinctive and the sound is still guitar based but there’s something - dare I say it? – jazzier about this album. Take first song “The Muse”; Laura almost sounds like she’s having fun with the Jools Hollands-esque piano tickling in the background.

“I was just a Card” begins slowly, but crescendos with some fantastic Joni Mitchell style vocals. “Sophia” is a slow burning firework; it entices you in with its beauty then explodes into a musical fest of duelling guitars, harmonising and rebellious lyrics.

“The Beast”, one of the standout tracks on this album, is a growling epic track; think Led Zeppelin meets Emily Bronte with Laura repeating over and over “Tonight he lies with me”. Play this to small children and they’ll be terrified for life.

She has always been adapt at using common Folk and Blues themes in her lyrics; the rambling man, the abandoned or the defiant woman, the devil at the crossroads, but she weaves them into stories of her own and offers songs that exist of no particular time. Listen to this album in 50 years and it won’t sound a year out of date.

The arrangements of the songs are just amazing, and her voice is stronger, more confident than its previous outings. Laura Marling has never really sounded like anyone else and just like her previous albums “A Creature I Don’t Know” keeps on pushing at those musical boundaries. Is she folk? Is she rock? Is she blues? Who cares? She is one hell of a talented woman and I already cannot wait for album number four.


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