The Greatest Song in the World This Week: 'Shine' – Laura Marling

The Greatest Song In The World This Week

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alas i cannot swim.jpgNow I know that I keep harping on about Laura Marling, but I just can’t get over how good her debut, Alas I Cannot Swim is. Often I will fall in love with an album and play it and play it until the CD player gets sick of it and pretends it is broken, but I am yet to tire of this record, so I am in fact going to keep harping on about it until you all go out and purchase it just to see what all the fuss is about.
Flavour of the week from Alas I Cannot Swim is penultimate track (if you don’t count the hidden track) ‘Shine’. This is one of the few tracks on the album that features just Marling and her guitar, rather than a full band. The more basic nature of the song therefore highlight’s Marling’s ability as a lyricist, both in writing and performing.


Marling has professed a keen interest in literature, which I think is clearly reflected in the poetic nature of her writing. In ‘Shine’ she perfectly describes the obsessive nature of love, ‘You plagued my mind, I will never go outside, I will never go back to being blind’.
The simple nature of the guitar on ‘Shine’ also emphasises the quality of Marling’s voice. Her vocal is controlled, and carries the tune of the track with both power and subdued consideration. Unlike her contemporaries, she at no point seems to be doing a Dusty Springfield impression. The unique tone of her voice is incredibly refreshing.
If you have any sense, go and buy Alas I Cannot Swim, as it really is a classic in the making and essentially just a good old listen, innit.

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  1. Raahead says:

    Agree 100%. Went to see Laura Marling at the Union Chapel on Thursday as part of the Song Box tour and thought she was excellent. Cant stop playing the album. Cross Your Fingers is my favourite tune at the moment, Alan

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