Showing posts with label laura marling. Show all posts
Showing posts with label laura marling. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

video review: 'semper femina' by laura marling

I'm surprised I haven't gotten a ton more blowback against this review... but then again, it hasn't gotten a huge number of hits, maybe people are still digesting it instead of being little bitches on another review (sigh...).

Anyway, Billboard BREAKDOWN and probably Quelle Chris next, so stay tuned!

Monday, March 13, 2017

album review: 'semper femina' by laura marling

So I'll admit I was pretty slow to the punch to cover Laura Marling's last album Short Movie in 2015. There was a lengthy back catalog to listen through and decode - mostly because Marling's exploration of themes and ideas reflected wisdom and nuance beyond her years - and despite being transitional and what I'd argue is a slightly lesser entry in her discography, there was still a lot to discuss and untangle. But again, it was transitional in every sense of the word - not only did it feel like a stylistic shift away from her acoustic sound to add more electric distortion, albeit feeling a bit listless, thematically it was tracing different directions too. This was a record that was partially inspired by her move to Los Angeles, and the mingled desires for companionship and lonely purity that ran through it. All of this led to an album I liked but didn't love, and while there are a few standouts that I do revisit to this day, it's not really a record that I return to very often.

And believe it or not, while most critics were a bit warmer on it than I was, they tended to fall into similar opinions, that it was a bit of a lesser entry in her discography compared to I Speak Because I Can or Once I Was An Eagle. Not so this time around - in fact, the critical acclaim that Marling has received for her exploration of definitions of femininity has been considerable... not that I'm entirely surprised here. Marling has been a critical darling for some time - deservedly so, I should add - but there is also a pretty significant subset of well-meaning critics that'll throw praise for the exploration of specific themes without really touching on whether they're done well. Now again, it's Laura Marling, she's got the sort of insight and tact that can lead to brilliant writing, and especially coming after Short Movie, I was curious how she was going to evolve her sound. So what do we get with Semper Femina?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

video review: 'short movie' by laura marling

Dear god, it took me WAY too long to get to this. Hopefully, the wait time for Sufjan Stevens will be less, but again, not quite ready for that yet.

On the other hand, this Shawn Mendes album or Passion Pit? Yeah, those coming soon, plus the new Zac Brown Band record! Stay tuned!

album review: 'short movie' by laura marling

Man, this record took way too long for me to talk about.

Now some of this I can blame on a turbulent month and a hefty back catalog, but I'd argue it's more than that in the case, so I think some explanation about my schedule is required. Before I review an album, I go back and listen through their entire back catalog. Not just the singles, not just the hits, the entire list of records - and I also endeavour to be an active listener. I'm the sort who if there are oblique or confusing lyrics, I'm going to digging through them line by line to truly parse them out, and that tends to require multiple listens. Coupled with the fact that I still try to get out multiple reviews in a week plus Billboard BREAKDOWN plus work a full time job... well, yeah, you get the picture.

And a lot of this comes down to the singer-songwriter we're going to be talking about today, a critically-acclaimed artist whose knack for intricate and mature lyricism meant her work didn't just merit additional listens, it demanded it. Yep, we're going to be talking about Laura Marling today, the sort of folk singer-songwriter that I have a hard time not liking, not just for her literary sensibility but for the fact she brought a level of maturity and songwriting craft that seemed beyond her years. And as her songwriter ventured more towards abstraction and layers, her material got trickier to process. Her first creative peak for me came on her second album I Speak Because I Can, which recruited Marcus Mumford to contribute to a record that not only easily outstripped anything he did with Mumford & Sons, but also had strong enough melodic grooves and writing to stand as one of the best of 2010. Her 2011 album A Creature I Don't Know was a little trickier to gauge given its slightly more abstract writing, but it was still incredibly solid if only because the writing was so damn good and it wasn't afraid to get noisier and nastier deeper into the record for cuts like 'The Beast' which kicks all amounts of ass. Then came Once I Was An Eagle in 2013, a record that dipped into even greater abstraction with even less instrumental accompaniment and one that took so many listens to really understand - and yet I'd still argue that as a songwriter Marling had never sounded better, an album that felt transitional only in that she was stepping towards something new and dropping an air of finality on what came before.

So when I heard she was releasing a new album that apparently featured electric guitar - a first for her - I was excited. After Once I Was An Eagle, a new beginning felt inevitable... so what did we get with her newest record Short Movie?