Laura Marling could give us all a lesson in efficiency. Once I Was An Eagle, the British artist’s fourth studio album, was recorded during a fiendish 10-day period—24 hours of which proved sufficient for most of the vocals and guitar parts on the LP. The result of which, as we’re learning in reviews this week, were mostly warm and positive.
OIWAE rounds out at a respectable 7.6 on Stereotude’s scale. With words like “timeless” and “elegance” being thrown around, the high grade comes with little surprise.
Critics applauded the release, which arrived this week from Ribbon Music and Rough Trade, noting the singer’s progression from her 18-year-old, 2008 introduction with Alas, I Cannot Swim, and her on-the-sleeve approach to lyric writing.
“Ms. Marling has cultivated vintage skills. Her songwriting brings together the diaristic and the mythical. Her voice is full of grown-up depth and subtleties.” – New York Times
“Her lyrics were knowing looks at young love and coming of age, buoyed by sweet melodies and deceptively skillful arrangements.” – SPIN
“With Once I Was An Eagle, she's finally made a record that matches the magnitude of her vision, and puts her well ahead of almost any twentysomething singer-songwriter peer working today.” – Los Angeles Times
“The portrait it paints of the author is not always flattering, but the truth rarely is.” – NME
Stereotude uses a standardized equation for calculating ratings in order to present an accurate depiction of each release’s overall critical response. Reviews are gathered and averaged from reputable, reliable and righteous sources that we depend on, including outlets covering specific genres. Our goal is to create a consistent, fair scale by which all new music can be judged.