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Creature I Don't Know Import

30 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, September 27, 2011
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 27, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B005ASASK4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,223,466 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By Red on Black on September 13, 2011
Format: Audio CD
The forward march of Laura Marling continues unabated and seems unstoppable. Her last album "I speak because I can" landed as a fully formed and assured work where comparisons to great singer songwriters like Joni Mitchell, Janis Ian and Laura Nyro were not only possible but also entirely appropriate. On "A Creature I don't know" her third album (and remember she is only 21) she produces an album full of different colours and moods ranging from jazzy hoedowns', to Spanish inflected acoustics and in "the Beast" a uber powerful electronic lament which P J Harvey would have been proud to write. Marling also develops the trend found in "I speak" to a much braver confessional style of lyrics and lays her heart bare in a number of the songs, with broken romance the central theme. All these factors add up to a heady mix and it is hardly surprising that her forthcoming "Cathedral" tour is the hottest ticket in town.

The album starts by Marling's standards in a musical mood of frivolity with "The Muse" and "I was just a card". The first is a jazzy whirl of banjo's and cello's where Marling warns "Don't you be scared of me/I'm nothing but the beast/And I'll call on you when I need to feast." The second takes as its template the sort of melodic pop balladry of vintage Joni Mitchell circa "Court and Spark". It has enough that is distinctive to set it aside from mere reverence and it is a sparkling start. Things slow perceptibly in the next track "Don't ask me why" which would have happily fitted on "I Speak" and the powerful John Steinbeck inspired "Salinas" where you detect that Marling has become a more polished and sultry singer with the passage of time. As stated above "the Beast" is a real point of departure.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Leah on November 9, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Since folk musician Laura Marling released her critically acclaimed debut album, Alas I Cannot Swim, in the spring of 2008, she has steadily been rising in popularity with her thoughtful songs of lost love, religion, and death. Her second album, I Speak Because I Can, followed in 2010 and also received high praise--both albums were nominated for the prestigious Mercury Prize. This week, the fair-skinned, blonde-haired waif released her highly anticipated third album, A Creature I Don't Know.

The English songstress, who prefers Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters to modern pop culture, reflects such tastes in her songs; her lyrics are quite literary in style and manage to avoid both cliché and pretension. One can easily see Marling's reported enjoyment of books such as Wuthering Heights reflected in her music; as the book explores the dark side of love, so do Marling's songs often evoke a wariness of romantic love. Even her new song "Rest In The Bed," which includes lyrics such as "all I want in life is to hold your hand," cannot manage to convince the listener that devoting your life to someone is a wonderful thing. The song's dark, heavy tone and scattered references to shadows and sirens detract from the seemingly romantic lyrics; it's as if all ideas of such happiness are doomed. It's quite a beautiful song, with Marling's clear voice accompanied by her signature soft acoustic plucking.

The album opens with "The Muse," an up-tempo number that is a surprising departure from the primarily acoustic and often melancholy songs typical of Marling's first two albums. Her songs are often rich and dramatic, but this is jazzy, piano-driven piece is the first one to bridge the gap to become theatrical.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jeff on September 13, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
Laura Marling has always been known for her old soul, but A Creature I Don't Know is what I'd call her first truly mature album. Her debut was fantastic if slightly top-heavy, her second album was a bit too bleak for my taste, but now on her third I feel like she's finally found her sweet spot. The opening songs are some of her jazziest and most upbeat yet, but they don't forgo any of the delicate beauty that is her trademark, and her lyrics are just as compelling as always. I feel like this album is simultaneously her most consistent and most varied - the growling guitars of "The Beast" are a huge departure, but it doesn't come at the expense of her trademark folk. Highly recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Sandal on June 16, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
One of the songs from this album got a lot of local airplay - "Sophia." I got the song first and decided to get the rest of the album based on that. The radio station was also running a blurb where a professor of music raved about her and compared her to Joni Mitchell. I grew up on Joni Mitchell. Marling is no Mitchell. Not even close, lyrically or musically.

I started out wanting to like this recording and thought I would, but something strange happened around the fourth time I heard it. I was in the car on a long trip. I started to like it less. That surprised me so I repeated it. And then I played it again. By the third repeat I was somewhere between wrung out and bored. Many of the songs are in minor keys and most of this is dirge-like. On several tracks she builds up this wall of sound thing - kind of like an acoustic Phil Spector. It's overwhelming and it's all frenetic strumming. This is (mostly acoustic) guitar, banjo, other strings. I'd like to hear some picking here and there and there's not much to be heard. Her tunes aren't hummable. You can't understand the words so you couldn't sing along even if you wanted to.

I saw a couple of reviews here complaining that it's jazz. It's only the first tune, "The Muse" that has one small jazz change in a riff. That's the most musically interesting song on the album but I wouldn't call it jazz. I love jazz. This ain't it.

So it pains me to write this. I tried to like it, really. But this is one of the few times I purchased an album and liked it less the more I listened to it. I think she's got potential but it's not realized here.
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