Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 26
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 26
  3. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. 100
    The song kick-starts the album's powerful sense of forward motion, of a woman struggling to wrestle free from expectations, relationships and religious convention.
  2. Jan 3, 2012
    90
    It's the album that makes her the comparative standpoint in her own right--suggesting subtly that she may one day be the talismanic songstress for her own generation.
  3. If she maintains this faith in her abilities, her albums will continue to awe, inspire and provide tough competition for the rest of the world.
  4. Sep 12, 2011
    90
    These are truly wonderful songs that deserved to be poured over and analysed for months to come.
  5. Sep 13, 2011
    84
    She's closely attentive to the particulars of her folk songs, which allows them to reveal deeper and darker secrets with each listen and to resonate long after the record has stopped spinning.
  6. Nov 1, 2011
    80
    It's safe to say her new album is another fascinating, furiously beautiful work that maintains her position as England's reigning folk princess.
  7. Sep 22, 2011
    80
    It's heavy at times, but always thoughtful and interesting.
  8. With Creature Marling has delivered something that has her own personal sound throughout, but still manages to explore both lighter and darker territory.
  9. 80
    A Creature I Don't Know stands up well against its feted predecessor and can only add to Laura Marling's reputation as a songwriter and musician.
  10. Sep 13, 2011
    80
    Barely out of her teen years herself, Marling explores a whole spectrum of female experience with empathy and intelligence.
  11. 80
    This real-life fairytale is made up of myriad difficult home truths but Marling's hejira, her flight to freedom, makes for absolutely compelling listening. Oh, and there's a happy, redemptive ending to boot.
  12. Sep 9, 2011
    80
    For now, we should simply savour the sound of an artist setting herself new targets and hitting each one with real panache. [Oct 2011, p.78]
  13. Sep 9, 2011
    80
    An air of inquiry suffuses Laura Marling's third album, a mood of experimentation as cerebral as it is playful.
  14. 80
    Laura Marling continues to impress on her third outing, though the transatlantic influences are becoming more apparent.
  15. Sep 8, 2011
    80
    It's a technical leap forward...but she wears this transformation easily. [Oct 2011, p.101]
  16. Sep 6, 2011
    80
    Marling has transcended the nu-folk movement and carved her own magnificent identity.
  17. 80
    Marling has always sounded like an adult, even when she wasn't one. Now that she's got the actual years to back up her world-weary tone, she's all the more thrilling. Maybe it's the beast within.
  18. Aug 16, 2011
    80
    Nu-folk starlet shines ever brighter on third outing. [Sept. 2011, p. 100]
  19. Sep 12, 2011
    76
    Marling may spend the majority of these songs and several others struggling to find wisdom and peace in the face of trials brought on by lust, money, and death, but she almost always sounds like she already has all the answers.
  20. Sep 14, 2011
    74
    A Creature I Don't Know takes Marling even further in her musical career than her efforts have already-and the girl's only 21.
  21. 70
    Whilst the overall the artistic advancement is decidedly impressive for such a fledgling talent, Marling does at times sell herself a little short on the lyrical and vocal front.
  22. Sep 14, 2011
    70
    Three albums in, the young singer/songwriter sounds brave and confident yet breakable and guarded, and while A Creature I Don't Know may not be the bolt from the blue fans and critics were hoping for, it's most certainly storm born.
  23. Sep 13, 2011
    70
    The strength of Creature rests in its ability to reconcile the energy of her debut album, albeit and perhaps unfortunately without the youthful spirit, and the growth of her second album, without sounding in the least bit labored.
  24. Sep 9, 2011
    70
    Her worldly-wise tone can still come over a little smug but give her time – she'll grow younger than this yet.
  25. Sep 1, 2011
    70
    If the Sheryl Crow–isms of the first few tracks throw you off, sit tight: From tempestuous meditation "The Beast" on, every song is chillingly badass.
  26. Aug 16, 2011
    70
    While her music still belies her age, he laser-beam narrative focus still indicates a young adult willing to believe that everything matters. [Oct. 2011, p. 81]
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Nov 5, 2011
    10
    Perfection is the only word to describe this young talent girl and this album shows that it's not a lie!!! She is amazing, this is album is a mixture of dark and innocence, and i love it! Full Review »
  2. Sep 22, 2011
    10
    She is only 21 years and her voice sounds like a great "old" singer...
    A Creature I Don't Know is a masterpiece, is a more mature album
    (musically and lyrically)
    Laura is lovely in every aspect and she is moving toward a new sound, unbroken, stormy and peaceful, She sounds better between darkness and innocence...
    The Beast, Sophia, Salinas and Don't Ask Me Why...highly recommend!!!
    Sincerely she is amazing...nothing to add...the best album of the year...!!!
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 25, 2011
    9
    Laura Marling's I SPEAK BECAUSE I CAN was a rambling testimony to growing in maturity and knowledge, A CREATURE I DON'T KNOW is her masterpiece, turning in a new, but not completely unfamiliar territory. THE MUSE, an uptempo, light hearted entry to the album sets a jazzy, smokey feel. I WAS JUSR A CARD, a whist full, fleeting touch back to some of what made I SPEAK... .DON'T ASK ME WHY pulls the masses together and explains WHY the world is what it is. SALINAS, one of the albums highlights, where Marling tries out an American rock-y side which she pulls off completely. THE BEAST, the magnificent 6 minute center piece that winds through a dark tale of suicide and depression filled with electric guitar and Marling's unflinching lyric and tone. NIGHT AFTER NIGHT is a Cohen-esque song about the erosion of the human mind and soul. MY FRIENDS, a folky charge through choices and changes is a memorable creation, one of the albums best. REST IN THE BED is a celtic-y, slightly dark, slow idea, rest in the bed of my bones rambles Marling, joined by a series of eerie siren sounds. SOPHIA, a highlight of Marling's career is another American rock-y country-ish masterpiece about the goddess of wisdom, Sophia. Finally, any pent up rage Marling has sung about is released in the peasant-y ALL MY RAGE where Marling touches on an english wife singing about the sacrifices and furies in her life. All in all A CREATURE... is Marling's best album, the darkest and most powerful in its content, highlights are SALINAS, THE BEAST, NIGHT AFTER NIGHT, REST IN THE BED and SOPHIA but there are no bad songs, like I SPEAK... there is nothing to complain about but this is slightly deeper, darker, a spiralling fairy tale that leaves Marling with a completely new route, but still gives her the folk that makes her one of the most talented singers today! Full Review »