Review: Once I Was An Eagle by Laura Marling

Once I Was An Eagle by Laura MarlingFor her fourth (fourth!) album, Laura Marling has moved to California and gone full-on Joni Mitchell. The end result is a mixed bag that’s left me both enthralled and bored. Once I Was An Eagle sticks to the same formula, only more sparse, save for some West Coast-y licks and rolls, and an all-around American-ness in her sound – not that she was parochially British in the first place. But, unlike in her previous albums, where her songs are often more of third-person narratives, Laura is all about her, her, (I think) her, from the more pronounced emphasis on her guitar, to the first four tracks that together comprise a 15-minute suite of heartbreak, and the standout “Where Can I Go?”. However, the album just seems to drone on – it’s over an hour long – and it loses steam by the time the final tracks roll in. I don’t know, I have a feeling she tried to incorporate all that she’s ingested in America and bring it all out as soon as possible. A little more focus would’ve done wonders. | 3/5

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