Like many of you I eagerly anticipated the release of Marina and the Diamonds‘ sophomore album Electra Heart, the follow-up to the spectacular The Family Jewels album released back in 2010. As I’m sure you’ll agree, often times it is a struggle for an artist to match or exceed the brilliance of their debut album, I’m happy to say Marina had absolutley no trouble with that!
On Electra Heart Marina teamed up with a talented set of pop’s finest producers including Greg Kurstin, Liam Howe, Dr. Luke and Diplo many of whom she worked with in LA. Marina is a girl who likes her creative control so she admitted that she was skeptical about working with American producers who she feared would craft her into an American pop sound, luckily she has successfully managed to avoid that and created an album that is 100% her.
♡ S U – B A R B I E – A ♡
Her brilliant American archetypes concept has been the foundation for the album, and she has throughly immersed herself in it, taking on each different persona (Teen Idles, Homewrecker, Su-Barbie-A, and The Primadonna) in a series of fabulous images (which can be found on her Electra Heart tumblr) and the acoustic and original videos released for various tracks. It’s all delightfully reminiscent of the fabulous Cindy Sherman who Marina freely admits is an influence.
Marina has a knack for writing accessible but brilliant pop lyrics, and one Electra Heart she effortlessly works within her theme discussing topics like love and popularity through these different archetypes. While these personas are extremes, there is still something very relatable in the lyrics and Marina manages to also remain herself and not merely a character.
While the entire album is a delight, a perfect mix of emotional ballad and full on dance numbers that still have a soul, my personal standout tracks are the moody electro banger Power & Control complete with intense beats and twinkly synths, Living Dead (which was one of the tracks to surface in demo form last year) a frenzied dance stomper on which Marina sings passionately about waiting for your life start, the energetic album opener Bubblegum Bitch which gets things off to a fantastic start, and the heartbreakingly honest ballad Lies which showcases Marina’s immense vocal ability.
Electra Heart is already one of my favorite releases of the year, it’s so refreshing to have an intelligent pop album to listen to! You can pick it up today on iTunes UK, it’s well worth your investment!
What you heard Electra Heart? Let us know what you think of it when you have!