Album of the Week: Laura Marling – Semper Femina

How she could do it, I don’t know. Her talent is enormous, her gentility is magnificent, beauty of her music is astounding. Laura Marling recorded an album that you expected her to record. Semper Femina is as soothing and reflecting as it can get Laura Marling sixth’s combination of delicacy and might makes this album both heart-wrenching and heart-warming. It’s this kind of album that you listen to just for the pure pleasure, but also for the deep contemplation. Beautiful, graceful, strong and impressive. This may as well be Marling’s best. For those who considered Once I Was An Eagle to be too long and too raw, this may be the answer. Condensed and sophisticated.

I was hoping Semper Femina will be a strong contender for the album of the year; that it’ll strike me as hard as Push the Sky Away or 50 Words for Snow did. But as wonderful this album is, my first thoughts weren’t as pure as fifteen feet of white snow. Singles are phenomenal, no doubt – Soothing may as well be one of my top songs of this year. But while listening to the rest of the album, I tried to be as critical as I could get. And even when at first my impression of songs were mixed, at the end of each of the songs I manager to fall in love with every one. And then, during the second and third listening the same impression – I do not like those songs, but then, suddenly, I love them in their third/fourth minute. I can’t remember the last time I had such feeling.

This album is a grower. You have to listen to it few times in order to fully appreciate its strength. Most importantly, do not get discouraged by the first negative response to the beginning of the songs. They grow on you. And oh my, even after three/four listens this album grew on me wonderfully.

Laura Marling manager to compose songs, which are just simply wonderful, subtle, gentle, reflective, impressive, serene. It reminds me of the lighter side of Nick Drake’s sophomore album. There is a space for experimentation like Soothing, beautiful orchestrations like The Valley, playful, yet sad rocky ballad feel like Don’t Pass Me By, or even anxious and convincing folk tune like, my favorite, Always This Way.

Semper Femina‘s cover art seems to  wonderfully represent what it has to offer. We have a women’s silhouette, which is both daring, yet not licentious. Its put in the contrasting subtle pastel environment of devastated room.

That’s what this album is to me. It’s the representation of both beauty and struggle, of gentility and fierce, of soothing, delicacy and strength.

Listen to: Soothing, Always This Way, Nouel

 9m

 

Also worth a listen this week:

  • The Shins – Heartworms
  • Valerie June – The Order of TIme
  • The Magnetic Fields – 50 Song Memoir
  • High Plains – Cinderland
  • The Navigator – Hurray For the Riff Raff

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