Reviewed by: Brian Roser
Laura Marling obviously needs a therapist. Of course, if she ever got one, her career as a songwriter would be over, much the same way Taylor Swift’s would be if she ever had a stable relationship. The thing with artists who struggle with madness, though is that they produce some amazing art. In Short Movie, Marling exhibits a power, intensity and sincerity of emotion that are not easily found on today’s music scene. She sings of love that is imperfect and at times infuriating, but still worth pursuing. She does all this with evocative imagery and an acoustic accompaniment that lends itself well to the unmasked beauty of her music. I would call it raw, but while the impact of her music is undeniable, the lyrics and melodies are polished and could never be mistaken for the work of an amateur.
At only 25 years of age, this is an amazing album number five for Marling. I must admit, however, that folk seems a strange genre for the daughter of a baronet. No kidding, her father is the 5th Marling Baronet. Also, I hate to ask, but do they kick you out of the folk singer’s club if your great-grandfather won a medal in the British army while colonizing Africa? Maybe that’s where she gets her instability from.
I am making light of her situation, and no, she doesn’t deserve it. She bares her soul in her music, giving it both vulnerability and strength. The album is simultaneously impatient with those not taking responsibility in a relationship, while pleading for comfort and support. She is frustrated with love, but so are many of us. She has no easy answers because there aren’t any. Love is a long and rocky road, but she is not afraid to walk by our side and make the journey with us.