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Laura Marling LP's 'Short Movie' is approachable

Laura Marling LP's 'Short Movie' is approachable
Cover art of the CD "Short Movie." (Ribbon Records, Ribbon Records)

Laura Marling arguably hit the high point of her career with 2013's "Once I Was an Eagle." Everything about that album was big — its thicket of acoustic arrangements, its peals of lyrics about heartbreak, its run time (an hour and change).

For a follow-up, she's gone smaller, starting with the LP's title of "Short Movie." Though it's not the statement-making brass-ring grab that "Eagle" was, it's certainly more approachable, and maybe even more enjoyable.

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"Short Movie" is both lighter and stranger than its predecessor. Here, Marling's ever-brilliant guitar playing is surrounded with specters of ambient electronic noise. "False Hope" creaks with Tangerine Dream-style washes cut through with strong drumming and a panicked lyrical insomnia. The spare "Howl" brings out her inner Nico, but the rockers like "I Feel Your Love" and "Don't Let Me Bring You Down" steal the show with a newfound zest. "Short Movie " is no epic, but it's the most replayable LP of Marling's career.

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Laura Marling

"Short Movie"

Ribbon Music

3 stars out of 4

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