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Alas I Cannot Swim Import


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Exclusive Songlines Music Awards 2014 CD for £3.99
Buy anything from the World Music or Folk Music stores and you can get the official CD from the Songlines Music Awards 2014 for just £3.99. Offer ends at 23:59 on Tuesday 9, December. Learn more.
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Laura Marling - A Creature I Don't Know

Biography

'A Creature I Don't Know' has been confirmed as the title of the third album by Laura Marling, it will be released on the 12th of September on Virgin Records, and is produced by Ethan Johns (Kings Of Leon, Ryan Adams, Ray LaMontagne, Emmylou Harris).

It follows the success of her sophomore record 'I Speak Because I Can' (also produced by Johns) - both that and her ... Read more in Amazon's Laura Marling Store

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Product details

  • Audio CD (11 Feb 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Virgin/EMI
  • ASIN: B001164904
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (70 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,763 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
Listen  1. Ghosts 3:00£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  2. Old Stone [Explicit] 2:59£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  3. Tap At My Window 2:47£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  4. Failure 3:21£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  5. You're No God 2:27£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  6. Cross Your Fingers 2:23£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  7. Crawled Out Of The Sea (Interlude) 1:16£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  8. My Manic And I 3:56£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen  9. Night Terror 3:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen10. The Captain And The Hourglass 3:09£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen11. Shine 2:39£0.99  Buy MP3 
Listen12. Your Only Doll (Dora) 7:16£0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Description

Product Description

UK teen doing the new-Folk thang to great acclaim-2008 album includes "Night Terror".

BBC Review

Amongst the soul inspired song-writings of Amy Winehouse, Adele and Duffy, it is refreshing to hear a young female singer who eschews soulful huskiness and harks back to folk. In the week that saw musical royals John Martyn and Rachel Unthank & the Winterset honoured at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards, 18-year-old Laura Marling is leading the way for a new folk generation. With performances at Glastonbury and Later With Jools... behind her, Marling has already made a considerable dent on the music scene.

Alas I Cannot Swim is an album that embraces the elegiac sensibilities of traditional folk and forward thinking contemporary folk music. Many have likened Marling to Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez and Sandy Denny, but Marling's sound is every bit her own. On opening track Ghosts she sounds assured, her voice arresting and powerful. "Lover please do not fall to your knees, it's not like I believe in everlasting love", Marling sings, with a conviction beyond her years.

The Reading-based singer's vocals are stunning on Old Stone - a shiveringly affecting, dignified and rousing track. Tap At My Window based on a Philip Larkin poem is equally impressive. Across the album, carefully constructed instrumental lines counter her vocal, always complementing, never suffocating.

Marling switches from playfulness to deep-set sensibility with great deftness. The bright country tempo of You're No God signals a full-blown folky knees-up while references to world folk music add edge and depth; Crawled Out Of The Sea with its marching accordion and snare riff recalls another folk revivalist, Beirut. But despite the cheery optimism, there is an underside of darkness; Night Terror, a solemn march, grows via doleful drums into a stirring call-to-arms.

Faithfully rooted in a folk heritage and at times country-tinged, Alas..., like the finest folk music, pits outward-looking paeans alongside introspective song. Marling may be young, but she has substance. An enthralling listen. --Gemma Padley

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Amplified Man on 17 Feb 2008
Format: Audio CD
The music on Laura Marling's debut album isn't entirely what I expected but, in a different way it's a lot more than I expected. What I thought would be a quiet, subtle, poppy folk album turned out to be a bold, creative, eclectic and incredibly exciting poppy folk album. Considering how youg Laura Marling is, `Alas, I Cannot Swim', has the markings of an artist ten years older.

The lyrics are clever, interesting and at times quite thought provoking. The music is, admittely, secondary to Marling's voice but remains varied and creative enough to superseed that assumption. The focal point though, is indeed her voice. It's fantastic. Nothing more needs saying on the matter.

The majority of the tracks are pleasant, stupidly enjoyable poppy folk tracks; Old Stone, Tap At My Window, The Captain & the Hourglass. But there is the odd curveball thrown in. Ghosts is the opening track and doesn't sound quite like anything else on the album somehow and is definitley a higlight. Cross You Fingers sounds fairly upbeat but boasts the a chorus of; "cross your fingers, hold your toes, we're all gonna die when the building blows." The opening lyric to My Manic & I; "he wants to die in a lake in Geneva, where the mountains can cover the shape of his nose." Unorthodox indeed for a pop record, which intrigues me even more.
Crawled Out of the Sea is the biggest curveball and possibly the most effective; it's a kind folk shanty, complete with accordion and serves to break up the album and is even stated as an "(Interlude)".

It's my view that Marling is strongest when branching out a tad like this; where a natural eschewing of convention needs nurturing.
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94 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Dudley Serious VINE VOICE on 12 Mar 2008
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Female singer-songwriters are like buses (not necessarily in appearance, you understand, and I'm not naming names): you wait ages and then three turn up at once. We seem to be inundated with them at the moment, and one who deserves the spotlight but isn't getting it so much (because she hasn't been seen shooting her mouth off in public or falling out of nightclubs) is Laura Marling. Her debut "Alas, I Cannot Swim" has also been somewhat overlooked because it is not in a pop/r'n'b idiom and she doesn't sing about, well, falling out of nightclubs. She appears to draw inspiration from an earlier generation of folk-rock singers, the likes of Joni Mitchell, Melanie, Jacqui McShee (of Pentangle), Linda Thompson etc.

The subject matter of her songs is a long way removed from the infatuations of (supposedly) hip urbanites trying to buy tequila at 4.00 a.m. too. Her lyrics sound rooted in the land, influenced more by Thomas Hardy or, in modern terms, Graham Swift than by the usual Camden Town obsessions. For someone who is still a teenager she displays a very mature take on difficult subjects such as parental strife, mental illness, death. God only knows what she might have to say by the time she's twenty-five. This is not to say the album is miserable. It is quite introspective, quite melancholy, but not all sad. "You're No God" and "My Manic and I" have an austere humour and light, lilting style. "Cross Your Fingers" has an almost nursery rhyme feel. And like many nursery rhymes, if you think about it, the words are much darker than the tune. The deft, basic acoustic folk backing is augmented here and there by strings and accordion.

So "Alas, I Cannot Swim" is not a party record. You might not play it getting ready to go out on Saturday night. But you might when you get home at whatever time on Sunday. And sitting at home any time, with a malt whisky, not an alcopop.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Mr. I. Morill on 23 Feb 2008
Format: Audio CD
Well first of all this is only the 2nd review i've felt moved to post (check out 'my friend the chocolate cake' by the way, great band ,ignore the silly name)I've been collecting music for over 30 years now (no not a boring old fart,i hope)Over the last 15 years or so i've found it difficult to find anything new or/and exciting. So have developed quite an eclectic taste... Cocteau twins,70's Miles Davis,MMW,DCD,Kate Rusby, Laura Veirs,Harold Budd,Bill Nelson,Durutti Column,Nouvelle vague,PCO,lots of different genres. I really like female singer songwriters..Joni,Suzanne Vega,Kristin Hersh,Kathryn Williams,Isabel Campbell,HeidiBerry(all wonderful)Let's face it there's a lot of over Americanised dross out there. I pre-ordered the album after seeing her on Later..Liked her performance.While waiting for the album i bought the 'ghosts'single. Oh no ... i didn't like it.Held out for the album expecting a disapointment. But no it's absolutley amazing.She was just 17 when she recorded it (forget that, it shouldn't matter)but it's still an amazing achievement.I'm reluctant to try and describe it (read the other reviews they do a better job than i) but the bottom line is,great music is great music, and talent is talent.It's been many years since i've played an album over and over and over like i've played this.And i now like the track 'ghosts' too in the context of the album.A triumph.You won't be disapointed it gets better with every listen.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By IWFIcon VINE VOICE on 17 Feb 2008
Format: Audio CD
If only because Laura Marling isn't another female singer-songwriter jumping on the Amy Winehouse bandwagon this album is like a breath of fresh air.

It's also refreshing that the teenage Marling doesn't sound, lyrically at least, her age. The likes of Adele and Amy Macdonald can instantly be identified as teenagers by some of their lyrics; Marling, on the other hand has a lyrical poise that defies her tender years.

Of course all of this is both a blessing and a curse in some ways; although one cannot say that Marling has been without her well-placed hype, her folk stylings mean that she's not got half the attention that the likes of Adele or Duffy have recieved as 2008 has kicked into gear. It's understandable, mainly due to the fact that her style is not neccesarily fit for Radio 1's target audience, so it perhaps a minor miracle that she's got the mainstream airplay she has at all.

The appeal of Marling lies somewhat in her simplicity. Background noises are left in the mix and her laughter can still be heard. But don't let the simplicity fool you; this is a darker record than her "contemporaries" have delivered. Indeed the pervading theme is the expression of acute heartbreak, a theme that Marling portrays with a lyrical sense that, again, belies her years.

It's not going to appeal to everyone and it is fair to say that it lacks the "mainstream" qualities that more hyped performers bring to the table. It's also fair to say that not everything quite hits the mark either. But there is more success than there is (relative) failure and there is certainly enough to suggest that Marling is rare talent. And like the best vintage wine, there is the definite feelining that Marling is going to improve with age.
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