A Creature I Don’t Know
by David Chiu
Laura Marling turns in a sterling effort with her third album, A Creature I Don’t Know. It’s an introspective folk album for the most part and yet the music seems to transcend that genre in other ways too. There’s a maturity and confidence in her songwriting and vocal delivery that belies her youth. The gorgeous and exuberant “I Was Just a Card” is very reminiscent of Court and Spark-era Joni Mitchell; “Salinas,” inspired by John Steinbeck, is a very rootsy, soaring Americana-like country track; and “My Friends” is upbeat-sounding and wistful as is “Sophia.” Balancing the uptempo folk numbers are also very pretty and sublime tracks such as the haunting story song, whispery, intimate, folk acoustic of “Night After Night,” along with “Rest in the Bed” and the elegant “Don’t Ask Me Why.” “All My Rage” ends the record on an inspiring, jugband-sounding note. A Creature I Don’t Know is a beautiful and intimate-sounding record–just another critical notch on the belt of Marling’s fast-rising career.