- SPIN Rating:7 of 10
Label: Ribbon Music
From her origins in the London folk scene that produced Mumford & Sons to the studied, literate songcraft of her first two albums, Laura Marling has rightly earned a reputation as the real deal, a wise-beyond-her-21-years traditionalist, evoking the legendary Brit-folk voices of Shirley Collins, Sandy Denny, and Linda Thompson. Here she pays homage to Leonard Cohen's "Chelsea Hotel #2" ("Night After Night"), crescendos lustrously ("My Friends"), and sharply references Steinbeck ("Salinas"). If the Sheryl Crowisms of the first few tracks throw you off, sit tight: From tempestuous meditation "The Beast" on, every song is chillingly badass.