Review : Marina And The Diamonds - Electra Heart
GuardianIn fact, the album's highlights are those Diamandis came up with in collaboration with the producer of The Family Jewels, Liam Howe. On Fear and Loathing and Teen Idle, they strip back most of that album's excesses to let the melodies breathe and focus attention on Diamandis's singing: coolly enunciated and slightly folky, her voice is much more appealing than you might have realised, overshadowed as it was on The Family Jewels by her apparently unquenchable desire to shriek, deploy a horrible vibrato and do animal impersonations. The former is a ballad that seems to address the artistic confusion arising from her debut album's relative failure; it does that in a more straightforward, affecting way than opener Bubblegum Bitch, a heavy-handed attempt at the kind of self-fulfilling I-will-be-huge prophecy that filled The Fame by Lady Gaga. Teen Idle, meanwhile, twists the cynicism of the whole Electra Heart concept into an intriguingly nasty lyric that subverts the message of a million Hollywood teen films by apparently suggesting adolescents would be better off trying to curry favour with the vacuous social elite in their school than expressing their individuality....full text
The IndependentHaving made her name as, essentially, a dumbed-down Amanda Palmer, it's put-up-or-shut-up time for Marina Diamandis.
She's pushed the boat out for her second album and remodelled herself as a British Katy Perry, bringing in the renta-songwriters du jour (Greg Kurstin, Rick Nowels) just to make sure. Electra Heart is too professional to be truly terrible, but it's never clever enough to be more than merely toytown....full text
Digital spy"It was always going to be tricky leaping into a different genre that's popular at the moment," Marina Diamandis told us last year of her new album. The sound in question is the bubblegum pop one currently owned by the likes of Katy Perry and Ke$ha; and as if the market wasn't crowded enough, she's attempting to crack it off the back of her indie debut The Family Jewels.
As such, where the character ends and she begins is not always clear, though it's only a problem for the record's sole weak link 'Living Dead'. Elsewhere, the earworm hooks, colossal choruses and sheer barminess ensures that Electra Heart is a thoroughly enjoyable listen throughout - regardless of whether you buy into the concept. ...full text
BBCMarina Diamondis, aka Marina and the Diamonds, doesn't make things easy for herself. For her follow-up to 2010's excellent debut The Family Jewels, she's created a sort of semi-concept album about female identity, focusing on various character types (Bubblegum Bitch, Homewrecker, Teen Idle etc) and disseminating their traits over throbbing electropop and plaintive piano. Songs focus on a recent breakup, creating a strange dichotomy between tracks that want to be enjoyed from a distance, almost ironically, and those that pull you sharply into her world.
There are moments where the songs themselves aren't quite interesting enough to prop up Marina's voice; and the inclusion of the teaser single Radioactive would have perked up a second half that sags slightly. But these are minor quibbles. Electra Heart manages to balance the ironic and the heartfelt, the quirky and the mainstream, the real and the fake with remarkable aplomb....full text
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