- Semper Femina

Laura Marling - Semper Femina
CRITIC SCORE
85
Based on 27 reviews
2017 Rank: #11 / 404
USER SCORE
78
Based on
211 ratings

WHAT DO YOU THINK?
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CRITIC REVIEWS

100
The Independent

When pondering gets this skilled, and this fruitful, the dividends far outweigh the misgivings.

100
NME

It all adds up to the most serene, stylistically varied album Marling has ever created – and that’s surely the point.

100
musicOMH

This album deals with femininity in a nuanced and honest manner, with Marling never hiding behind a façade of characters or dealing in over-familiar observations. Few songwriters, let alone any still in their mid-20s, are able to illuminate such complex material with this degree of insight and personal experience.

100
A.V. Club

In these songs, Marling looks at womanhood and female relationships from various angles and distances, giving the gray areas of these roles and intimacies plenty of breathing room. The result is a record of great affection and fluidity.

90
Paste

Like a great folksinger, she has created an album of songs whose sounds and sentiments are much weightier than they appear on the surface, providing entry to somewhere much more wondrous and strange and troubling than it first appears.

90
Clash

‘Semper Femina’ matches Laura Marling’s personal quest to unlock facets of her identity echoing with the wider struggle to clear a space for the feminine voice within society itself. With a triumphant new album it seems that this songwriter has found a room of her own.

90
The 405

With Eagle already standing as one of the peaks of modern folk music, we would not necessarily have expected to hear another knockout record from her, but there’s no denying Semper Femina stands toe-to-toe with her opus. 

90
No Ripcord

While Marling's lyrics come across as powerful and worldly, it's the conversational tone that makes Semper Femina work so well ... United with the strongest set of songs of her career, she has reached a new peak in a career full of them.

83
Consequence of Sound

It is a strong, elegant, and self-assured album that, in its creative arrangements and lyrical world building, contains remarkable complexity and depth in terms of both skill and concept.

80
The Line of Best Fit

She takes her steps up the creative ladder so subtly that it’s difficult to discern the depth of them until you’ve really delved into whichever record is her latest; her development as a writer usually ends up manifesting itself in every song, in different ways but always quietly.

80
The Skinny

Semper Femina continues her decade-long hot streak with another collection of finely wrought vignettes on love, loss, and the empowerment that can be found in both.

80
American Songwriter

Semper Femina is a concise, dynamic statement from the English singer-songwriter, mixing breezy 70’s country-rock melodies with claustrophobic, fingerpicking folk, often on the same song.

80
The Guardian

There’s ... something punchy and confident about Semper Femina as a whole, an album that’s as big on telling details as it is on big ideas.

80
Drowned in Sound

She sharpens and delves deeper into her already superb songwriting abilities. Vocally she continues to mature and explore what her voice is capable of.

80
AllMusic

Having entered the limelight early, the 27-year-old singer/songwriter has now settled into a comfortable groove to on this finely honed career highlight.

80
Exclaim!

There's always more to Marling than the uninitiated might hear at first, and Semper Femina is yet another astounding testament to her talent and the multitudes therein.

80
DIY

At the heart of ‘Semper Femina’s reversed pronouns, dream-dredged imagery, and darker sonic core, Laura Marling crafts yet another hard-to-pin, experimental, statement.

80
Under The Radar

Semper Femina is powerful display of Marling's craft and, the album's driving force, love.

80
Uncut
This is an exploration of femininity in all its variants; in its power, mystery and vulnerability; above all, in its mutability.
80
PopMatters

Listening to Laura Marling’s intimate new release Semper Femina is like falling into a dream. Not the surrealist kind with weird imagery, but the half-awake type where one is aware of the day-dreaming and doesn’t want to break the spell.

79
GIGsoup

It’s an album that broaches a step along the tentatively expanding path for songwriting by women, for women.

77
Pitchfork

With Semper Femina, Laura Marling uses a broad study of femininity to explore complex relationships between women. The album is filled with beautiful observations on the psychology of friendship.

75
Pretty Much Amazing

If you take one thing away from this review, it’s that you should absolutely listen to “Soothing”, but don’t set your hopes too high for Semper Femina based on its quality. Who knows, though—you might be pleasantly surprised.

70
Slant Magazine

An album that seeks to push folk's innate naturalism into an even more progressive space, eschewing any trace of outmoded roles and stereotypes.

70
Loud and Quiet

Laura Marling is a stupendous talent, don’t get me wrong, and if you’re a fan of that voice then you’ll love this record. ... But I don’t buy that it’s any more than a very good album dashed off on a tour bus, by someone with more energy than her talent can contain.

70
Rolling Stone

It's a timely set, especially for a Brit who makes the U.S. a part-time home. You can hear the double-life: Nick Drake ghosts "The Valley," while Joni Mitchell remains a touchstone ("Nouel").

60
God Is in the TV

Laura Marling‘s Semper Femina has an interesting set of vantage points about women and intriguing lyrics to match.

Mar 13, 2017
85
Gorgeous folk record that exceeded my already high expectations for Laura Marling. Lovely vocals, lovely lyrics, lovely arrangements -- but also bold and captivating enough to avoid falling into a trap of uninteresting pretty music. An early AOTY contender.
Mar 13, 2017*
BuffaloStaple
75
My personal favourite Laura Marling record to date, I really dig the very relaxing and lavish instrumentals on this album and I think Laura's vocals are very engaging for the most part. I think the album lacks diversity a little bit with the whole lyrical theme revolving around femininity, I don't really think this theme was explored to it's fullest potential, but it is still tackled in a legitimately captivating way. However, I do think the sameyness of this record does stop it from being ... read more
Mar 13, 2017
lerkenfeldt
87
'Semper Femina' is my favorite Laura Marling record by som distance. Its crushingly beautiful, expertly crafted and extremely self-assured. There is a debt and range in both the lyrics and music, that far exceeds anything Marling has done before.

Favorite moments: Soothing, Don't Pass Me By, Wild Once, Nouel.
Mar 12, 2017
EMR
65
Notorious singer/songwriter Laura Marling returns with another gentle and subtle record. On Semper Femina, the artist reflects upon the always changing, always evolving identity of hers in a similar approach of her last full lenght LP, Short Movie, bringing up a handful of electric instruments to build this almost philosophical study of inner feelings and personal development. The album reads like a loose and charming take of disparate moments of reflection compiled and ultimately translated ... read more
Mar 11, 2017
JustinSlick
86
I might be rating it a bit higher than my first impression because it really feels like something of a culmination for her--she evolves SO elegantly on every album. Also, the lead track is freaking glorious.

Stylistically, I think I preferred where she was at on Once I Was an Eagle, especially what she was doing with seamless transitions between the first four tracks. But that just comes down to taste.... Laura Marling is as astounding, skillful, insightful as ever here; I don't think any ... read more
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Added on: November 28, 2016