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I Speak Because I Can Single

4.4 out of 5 stars 110 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (3 May 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Single
  • Label: Virgin/EMI
  • ASIN: B00371M8ZO
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (110 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,375 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Devil's Spoke
  2. Made By Maid
  3. Rambling Man
  4. Blackberry Stone
  5. Alpha Shallows
  6. Goodbye England (Covered In Snow)
  7. Hope In The Air
  8. What He Wrote
  9. Darkness Descends
  10. I Speak Because I Can

Product Description

Product Description

Critically-acclaimed second studio album by the British singer-songwriter. The album features the singles 'Goodbye England (Covered in Snow)', 'Devil's Spoke' and 'Rambling Man'.

BBC Review

When Laura Marling appeared on the folk scene in 2008, aged 17, there was almost as much anticipation of her promise as praise for the music she produced. This was no bad thing, allowing development as an artist, and crucially not placing too much pressure or expectation on not-as-yet broad shoulders. Her debut, Alas, I Cannot Swim, was delivered to a generous critical reception, but the question asked this time round was always going to be one of progression, and the fulfilment of that abundant early talent.

Listening to Alas and second full-length, I Speak Because I Can, back-to-back, a change in tone – if not direction – is evident from opener and lead single Devil's Spoke. The production here is more deliberate and pored-over, expanding upon the earlier bare-bones approach. A leaf out of the Mumford & Sons school of orchestration has also been taken, with Rambling Man the greatest representation of this. The development in vocal styling is also stark; gone is the wispy, quick-fire phrasing and in walks deeper, slower, huskier proclamations. In many ways darkness has replaced the brightness.

It would, however, be disingenuous to paint this record as a collection of Marling's miserabilism. Despite the downbeat opening tracts, certain songs – Darkness Descends and I Speak Because I Can – abound with optimism and the ultimate, swelling crescendo of the latter displays an impressive mastery of dynamics. Similarly, at least a touch of variation is a necessity in folk, and this is demonstrated frequently, no more noticeably than when the boisterous acceleration of Alpha Shallows falls under a weight of heavy strums and gives way to the subtle, tender love letter to a country that is Goodbye England (Covered In Snow).

There was a justifiable argument to be made that Marling's real talent had to be seen live; the recorded compositions not revealing the entire picture. With I Speak Because I Can, that argument may now end. Though just 20, it doesn't appear within her scope to make an outright bad album, and here we are shown a few more glimpses of her gift, but yet not an overwhelming outpouring of it. It's clear that there has been a progression as a songwriter, with a previously unfound depth apparent on these ten tracks. Though it undoubtedly draws on the travails of the past two-or-so years, there remains, without a doubt, more in the can from young Laura. --Luke Slater

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
I've had this album on repeat since I downloaded it a couple of days ago. I'd downloaded it, knowing there was a possibility I wouldn't like it at all. I liked Alas I Cannot Swim [Explicit] and I liked New Romantic and Typical from My Manic And I [Explicit], but musicians have this terrible ability to change that I always worry about. This is different.

Its amazing. This doesn't feel like folk or indie- it sounds like blues to me, maybe even soul. It reminded me of Blue, one of my favourite albums of all time, not because its like it, but because it's an emotional journey.

The album's like a wave, forming with Devil on a Spoke, reminding me of American folk, but then cresting with Made by Maid and Rambling Man softly bringing you down to the fizz of Blackberry Stone to Alpha Shallows on a Greek beach for dancing around a beach fire. Goodbye England (Covered In Snow) is beautiful, not just because it reminds me of this January's frightful beauty, but it's so soft, yet rising. There's some anger in Hope in the Air, but there's pure fantasy and magic in What He Wrote, which is my favourite song from the album. Darkness Descends is a lifting wave, taking you back out to sea on a party boat, before the title song settles you down to the rocking boat as a storm blows by.

The sound quality is excellent, an improvement on Alas and her voice comes through amazingly. The music's simple- mostly guitar, with the odd flourish from back up singers and clarinets etc. Her voice- it's as magical as always. But I think in this album, I hear more passion, more love and bitterness and excitement. And this is what has given me shivers. It's wonderful.
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Format: Audio CD
I absolutely adore Laura Marling, but on first listen I would have given this album perhaps... either 3 or 4 stars, probably 4 stars. (i am very generous with stars)
The reason behind that is because I loved loved LOVED "Alas, I cannot swim" and for me, the darkness of "I speak because I can" was too different and too ... for want of a better word, frightening for me. After I got used to the change however, I think I love "I speak because I can", perhaps even more than the first album. for people that know her first album, her second is slightly bolder and slightly louder (well as loud as Laura Marling can be), with more things like banjos in (the mumford & sons influence- all of them apart from one contributed to the album so maybe you can kind of imagine the effect).

for me, Laura Marling's music is very lonely and melancholy. Her simplicity is haunting and even her songs with a bit more of a beat or her songs that are written in the major key still hold that loneliness and melancholy. This is why I love her so much. The way she sings is effortless. This is how I would describe her: an effortless talent. In other words, a natural talent. I think that's lacking in recent times. People who dislike her music probably dislike her lack of extreme and obvious sounds in both the music and in her singing, but for me it's refreshing. It's all a matter of taste but I thought I would try and describe why I like her, so that hopefully others can get an idea of what her music is like. it's very hard to explain but for me, her music holds all sorts of meaning that i had never experienced until i discovered her.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Laura Marling carries a huge weight on her young shoulders, She is still only 20 and yet following an astonishing debut album and a clutch of singles not least of all the brilliant "New Romantic" which she deliberately choose to leave off "Alas I cannot swim" the expectation around this second album is huge. In addition her personal life has become a factor (like it or not). The very public outpouring of heartbreak angst from her ex Charlie Fink of Noah and the Whale on "The First days of spring" has sealed this. Oh and just for good measure her very close chums in the album's backing band Mumford and Sons are currently as popular as Wayne Rooney at Old Trafford.

What makes her so special? The answers are vulnerability, versatility and voice. This sophomore album displays all these qualities in good measure. It is an incredibly mature set of songs containing a number of latent classics and potentially the best female voice I have heard since the young Joni Mitchell. Sorry if you think this hyperbole but with talent like this why be measured?

Having listened to this album constantly on repeat since the Times kindly streamed it (and be assured the Amazon order is in) it confirms an enormous step forward and not least since she has avoided the obvious rerun of her debut and some of its more commercial elements. The above paper has called it a "very British album - think snow-covered England, blackberries and cold noses". This description goes someway to capturing its atmospherics of folk rock but not the lyrical depth and breadth which many of her contemporaries lack.

Overall what is noticeable are the many echoes of Dylan on this album.
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