My 50 Favorite Albums of 2008: #45

Number 45

To say Laura Marling’s solo debut, Alas I Cannot Swim, is an outstanding first effort by a teenage singer/songwriter, would be right; but it would also be a major understatement. Simply to write and record an album that is solely your own at the ripe old age of eighteen is not automatically a phenomenal achievement, because artists like Aly & AJ have done so themselves at an early age, too. What makes you a teenage songstress phenom is when you can write and record an album that is full of legitimately catchy songs that just happen to be full of genuine feeling as well, and Marling does that in spades with Alas. Making her start in music with the band Noah and the Whale when she was just sixteen, she released this breakthrough just three days before her eighteenth birthday earlier this year, bursting onto the scene with the incredibly infectious opening tune, “Ghosts”. There is no looking back for Ms. Marling from this point on. The sky’s not even your limit, gal. On her third single release in the months since, most recently “Night Terror”, and in September nominated for a Mercury Prize for Best Album, 2008 marks a significant year for this endlessly talented, blossoming artist.

1.Ghosts
2.Old Stone
3.Tap At My Window
4.Failure
5.You’re No God
6.Cross Your Fingers
7.Crawled Out of the Sea (interlude)
8.My Manic and I
9.Night Terror
10.The Captain and the Hourglass
11.Shine
12.Your Only Doll (Dora)

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