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Album review: Laura Marling – Once I Was An Eagle

PUBLISHED: 06:00 03 June 2013

Laura Marling - Once I Was An Eagle

Laura Marling - Once I Was An Eagle

Archant

Marling reveals a new, assured maturity in this extensive, 16-track album. And it’s a cracker.

Known for her unflinching confessionals and poetically acerbic turns of phrase, British songbird Laura Marling’s latest marks a creative leap forward.

While the subject matter on this fourth album is little different, her wily couplets and delivery, redolent of Joni Mitchell, now have a worldly assurance.

Her music, too –perhaps thanks in part to producer Ethan Jones – takes on a broader palette and is all the more satisfying for it.

The first several songs segue into one another, a liquid current of guitar, cello, hand percussion and Marling’s bewitching voice, stirring from hushed finger-picked strings to swells of layered instruments.

The 23-year-old sounds wiser than her years; weary on opener Take The Night Off, confidently proclaiming she will no longer be a “victim of romance” on I Was An Eagle.

There’s a pleasing swagger to Master Hunter, while Devil’s Resting Place’s crackling, sea-shanty-inspired melody has fire in its belly too. Evocative, delicate, strong, mature – a delight.

4 stars


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