Music and That: Marina & The Diamonds – Electra Heart

It has taken me AGES to finish this review, because I’m just not sure on my feelings for this album. Frankly, I’m still not but I’ve been trying to wrap my head around it for a week and a half, and I really think I need to move on.

Last time Marina was about with her first album “The Family Jewels”, I was a bit lukewarm towards her. She had some amazing songs on her (Oh No! or I Am Not a Robot, for instance) but she never really caught my attention. To the point where I wasn’t even going to bother with this album if a friend of mine hadn’t recommended it.

And honestly, I’ve found myself in the same position. I can see that this is the type of music that normally I love (she’s used the same producer as Katy Perry, ffs) but there’s something about her that just makes me switch off, it’s really odd.

She’s got plenty of good songs here, the best being “Lies” which is properly amazing, or current single “Primadonna” which manages to sound like everything else in the charts and yet like nothing else in the charts at the same time.

I think my main problem with album is the “concept” of it. That’s right ladies and gents, it’s a concept album. *EYE ROLL*. Electra Heart is in fact Marina’s alter ego, representing everything vacuous and empty in American culture. Which would be nice, except that it gives every song this uncomfortable feeling, like she doesn’t really want you to enjoy it, but if you do, do it ironically. She’s basically sold out and made more mainstream music, but at the same time is mocking people who actually like that sort of music, and I just find it all rather unpleasant. Songs like “Bubblegum Bitch” or “Homewrecker” sum up this feeling exactly. I might like them, if I didn’t feel like she’s just taking the piss with them.

When she’s a bit more sombre, that feeling dissipates and I found myself enjoying it more. “Teen Idle”, “The State of Dreaming” or  “Valley of the Dolls” all feel like she actually has something to say rather than is taking nasty and pathetic jabs at popular culture.

I wanted to love this album. Under normal circumstances, I probably would have. But it’s just that horrible patronising vibe I get from Marina that undercuts the whole thing, and it’s a pity. There’s still a fair few decent songs on here though, so that’s something at least.

BEST 3 SONGS: “Lies”, “Primadonna”, “Teen Idle”


About rmdbutler

2007 Brit Award nominee for Best International Female
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