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- Sophia by Laura Marling
6/10 Brian Staff review, 07 September 2011
The ever-popular Laura Marling has a brand new single out, which after the most rudimentary of interweb searches I discover is the one that her record company think is the most representative track from her new album to catapult her to inevitable world-wide mega-status. Unfortunately with its initial chamber-folk beginnings and eventual twangy country rock/gospel/orchestral crescendo I think it's a bit too long, meandering and unmemorable to truly work as a single. It's colourfully produced and sounds worthy/impassioned enough but the whole appeal of Laura Marling, surely, was that she was a wispy English Rose with a sweet, gentle reflective voice and well nimble fingers. Here she sounds far too American for my liking, like she's been propping up a bar in Nashville with that massive wealthy goon White Jackson. There's not enough of a hook - it sounds like a middling album track. Where's my Laura gone? The one who sang Jeffrey Lewis songs on street corners? All said and done, I wish her the very best with this new single and subsequent third album but I think a lot of her distinctive charm may have been eroded, compromised and glossed over by the powers-that-be in an effort to market her in the States. An old story but also an eternally sad one...
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