After the success of Marling’s first album ‘Alas, I Cannot Swim’, her second album has been long awaited by fans and music critics alike. Often known as the difficult second album, ‘I Speak Because I Can’ certainly lives up to the success of ‘Alas…’

The album begins with ‘Devil’s Spoke’, which slowly builds up to reveal a more mature style of music than Laura’s previous music, the guitar presence is a lot stronger, and her voice seems more emotional, with a new found confidence.

The strongest, most memorable tracks on the album are; Devil’s Spoke, Rambling Man, Hope in the Air, and Darkness Descends.Throughout the album, there is a wide variety of songs, softer easy-listening traditional folk songs, such as Made by Maid, and Goodbye England, are a complete contrast to the dark themes of Devil’s Spoke and Alpha Shallows.

Compared to ‘Alas…’ many of the songs on ‘I Speak Because I Can’ have more upbeat guitar riffs, and lyrics. This is probably due to Laura’s new found confidence in herself and her music, however, in ‘Rambling Man’ she still sings of her naivety “oh naïve little me” – this is definitely not the case! Marling’s wise-beyond-her-years lyrics are what sets her apart from most female singer/songwriters of her age, and the layering of vocals on the album make her sound so much more confident.

Overall, whilst half of the songs on the album are memorable, and are great to listen to – the other half are subtler, and therefore take a few listens to really enjoy.

Louise Rebecca Thomas