Entertainment Magazine

Laura Marling – Once I Was An Eagle

Posted on the 05 June 2013 by Audiocred @audiocred

Laura Marling’s Once I Was An Eagle is like Damien Rice’s O stripped to its most basic elements with a touch of vocal illustriousness. Eagle is a warm tribute to the shimmering guitar folk of an imagined American west as well as to the modern acoustic music that has its roots in English folk balladry; a gracious album that forces introspection upon every moment you spend even passively listening to it. That Eagle‘s songs are not immediately distinguishable, and work with very little by way of ear-catching hooks – other than Marling’s occasional bursts of vocal ingenuity – is offset almost perfectly by the album’s self-assured presentation. It isn’t until the final track, “Saved These Words” that we truly feel we have an idea of what Marling has been holding onto and building up to, but at least the song’s euphoric folk explosions feel earned; their celebratory migration upwards like the reward for an album that requires some endurance.

Laura Marling Once I Was An Eagle 300x300 Laura Marling   Once I Was An Eagle

Marling’s voice is rich and stable, but somewhat unvarying. This is not to say that she is a typical singer: for one thing, her voice would giver her the sound of about 600 years of wisdom behind even the most banal of lyrical invectives. The capabilities of her range are not obvious, and her style hardly showy; in fact the heft of her voice is often left to trickle around in a sort of lulling murk – perhaps deliberately, as it makes the moments of heightened melodic excitement all the more gripping. On “You Know” the singer sounds almost Fiona Apple-esque in her acid-tongued indictments of the hippie culture her songwriting sometimes seems hell bent on cloying to. The track transitions seamlessly through “Breathe” and into the happily Led Zeppelin-sounding strum-line of “Master Hunter.” Once I Was An Eagle flows like one single, graceful movement of music: a piece of well-versed acoustic instrospection, scraped up endearingly with battle-ready percussion.

“Undine” blends some country-fried guitar sensibilities with Marling’s sophisticated raconteuring, and for someone for whom it would otherwise seem pretentious or douchey to be composing in such a style (think of all the cringeworthy “country songs” your classmates performed at college open-mics), Marling smartly sidles her deliberately pastoral guitar work up to the storied melodic context. The song is a crackling bright invocation of the kind of music you might associate with a spaghetti western; something brimming with Americana, but that also feels like it would be at home amongst the villas and red wine of southern Europe or even northern Africa. With the exception of the album’s “Interlude” Once I Was An Eagle rarely strays from its simple acoustic setups of songs that can sometimes feel more like Laura Marling performance showcases than they do like legitimately interesting guitar compositions.

In title and in form, Once I Was An Eagle is reminiscent of some of Bill Callahan’s post-Smog work, wherein the main focus of the songs is the dry delivery of very blunt lyrics and the music this delivery is set to almost feels incidental. Such a comparison to Callahan’s work is most apparent on “When Were You Happy? (And How Long Has That Been)” which evokes Callahan’s laid-back bitterness perfectly. However, Eagle falls somewhat short of capturing the anti-folk iron of something like Sometimes I Wish We Were An Eagle, which turns its back on pop vocalisms in a more utter and less ambiguous fashion. The best moments on Once I Was An Eagle are still when Marling drops all pretense of anti-folk hyper-sincerity and lets her voice soar, like on “Love Be Brave.” The maturity in Marling’s voice feels sincere and earned, and yet it is obvious that the joy of experimenting with her voice has not been knocked out of Marling yet.

 Laura Marling   Once I Was An Eagle

3.5/5 bars

You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Big Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy in China

    Food Giants Manipulate Public Health Policy China

    Coca-Cola is at it again. As soda sales decline in the United States and Europe, beverage companies look to emerging economies like China for growth. And, it... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dietdoctor
  • Jewellery for a Precious You

    Jewellery Precious

    Jewellery is always close to a woman’s heart. It completes her look and boost confidence. Considering the changing trends in jewellery fashion, it becomes... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Dr.jenifer Sayyed
  • Rajshri Productions’ Next Is A Film On Friendship | Hum Chaar | Trailer

    Abhishek Dixit’s debut feature film Hum Chaar is a Bollywood film made under the banner of Rajshri’s film. Hum Chaar is written and directed by Abhishek Dixit. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
  • Saint Paul the First Hermit

    Saint Paul First Hermit

    Today is the feast day of Saint Paul the hermit. This is a sweet and delicate Oatmeal Bread topped with rolled oats and naturally sweetened with agave. Saint... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Veronica46
  • Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu | Teaser | Pranav Mohanlal | Arun Gopy

    Arun Gopy’s Irupathiyonnaam Noottaandu is an upcoming Malayalam action-drama feature film starring Pranav Mohanlal and Zaya David in the lead roles. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Themoviean
  • A Year Of Body Positivity

    Year Body Positivity

    Last January, as I sat there on New Years eve all set to make the same old resolutions I've made year after year for as long as I can remember, I realised how... Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Sparklesandstretchmarks
  • Garden Bloggers Bloom Day – Jan 2019

    Garden Bloggers Bloom 2019

    Euphorbia rigidaWhen I went out to take the photos for this blog post I was surprised at how much was in flower dotted around the garden. Read more

    The 15 January 2019 by   Patientgardener