Laura Marling, 'I Speak Because I Can' (Astralwerks)

7
I Speak Because I Can
Critical Mass
Label: astralwerks

by Amanda Petrusich

Laura Marling is just 20 years old, but unlike another singing 20-year-old (say, one with blonde ringlets, a sparkly acoustic guitar, and several Grammys), Marling doesn't write about fairy tales and cute boys. Her stormy folk songs (which, on occasion, recall PJ Harvey's) are primal and dark, crammed with ancient mythology and portentous warnings: "All of this can be broken / All of this can be broken / Hold your devil by his spoke and spin him to the ground," she chants, offering up a vision of postadolescent womanhood that's more about survival than escape.

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