Laura Marling – Semper Femina

415R+tg6MaLA folk-soul sounding look at female relationships led by Brit songstress Laura Marling. Several changes are underfoot here. First and foremost is that she has not produced the album herself. Rather bringing on a male (Blake Mills) to help her uncover her most female of voices. Interesting method. She switches from a male theme/voice to a female one and brings on a male to help. Might seem like a misstep but it works. Marling has also decided to not use her typical talking-singing voice rather she is full out singing here. Her talent level has never been in doubt but the layers that Mills has brought with him has added a certain je ne sais quoi to the whole proceedings. The personal and raw lyrics are still there. Allowing you to deeply feel and experience what she sings about. Words are further pumped up by some lovely melodies. Check out “The Valley”, “Always This Way” and “Nouel” to understand what I am saying. An added bonus is the inclusion of a second disc which contains a live recording of the entire album. The interplay of Marling and the musicians adds different layers to the sound though overall it sounds pretty similar to the recorded one.

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