Alas, I Cannot Swim - Laura Marling
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 7 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Alas, I Cannot Swim is an awe-inspiring debut by an old soul on a mission to inject some much needed legitimacy into the singer/songwriting tradition. [Fall 2008, p.81]
  2. The unnervingly grown-up Alas I Cannot Swim is the result, and if it doesn't install her as the heir to the likes of Devendra Banhart, there's no hope for folk-pop.
  3. Her songs are similarly sparse and fragile, with some astonishingly mature lyrics framed by beautifully pretty melodies.
  4. Where Adele sounds like a method actor, Marling weaves secretive threads of thought that suggest she’s agonised over things long enough for them to come together with a thud in plain-spoken full stops.
  5. There's every chance that Laura Marling will get lost in the shuffle as the unexpected commercial success of Feist's The Reminder leads major labels to unleash hordes of similarly talented female singer/songwriters, but Alas I Cannot Swim is far better than the average coffee house-endorsed girly pop.
  6. 70
    Marling's voice, rich and tenuous, recalls Joni Mitchell, but her fatalistic screeds--sung over acoustic guitar, with an occasional burst of percussion or strings--owe more to Nick Drake and Will Oldham.
  7. 60
    Her creamy voice canters over deft fingerpicked guitars and celtic violin throughout the rest of the album, and although the heights of the aforementioned song are barely hinted at elsewhere, Marling’s promise--she’s just 17 years old--is as clear as spring water.
User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Sep 16, 2011
    7
    In her first alum Laura Marling did soft Folk melodies that will charm you. "Ghosts", the first song of the album, shows a happy song talking about past lovers in which Laura's voice sounds charming and sincere pleading: "Lover, please do not fall to your knees. It's not like I believe i everlasting love". The following track, "Old Stone" is more nostalgic and still calming, as most of the song on this marvelous album. "Failure", "You're No God" and "Cross Your Fingers" shows maybe the most happy melodies, though the lyrics aren't maybe what we would call cheerful and bright. "Crawled Out Of The Sea" separates the album, leaving more lively tunes behind and opens the second half with "My Manic And I", a song that from my point of view is a highlight of the album, with an obscure and mysterious Laura who seems tired of his lover. The album ends with "Your Only Doll (Dora)" a song that paints landscapes with those birds at the back and that will make close your eyes.
    It's not an innovative album, as the following ones of this beautiful and talented young English singer, but it is still one that you can enjoy.
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