The sophomore album by Marina and The Diamonds, ‘Electra Heart’, may be one of our favourite ever albums, so we have decided to re-listen and review for a #ThrowbackThursday.
The Welsh songstress, real name Marina Lambrini Diamandis, studied dance, music and classic composition at three different schools after turning 18 before dropping out of each respectively.
At this point she began writing and producing her own music after a string of unsuccessful auditions. Soon after she released her first self-made demo album, Mermaid VS Sailor, to Myspace using Garageband and an Argos keyboard.
This drew the attention of several record companies which led to her partnering with Neon Gold Records’ Derek Davies in 2008 for six months, which saw her open for Gotye (long before that song).
2010 saw the release of her first studio album, The Family Jewels, which debut number five in the UK and 138 in the U.S. The record brought a new sound and performed exceedingly week with the critics.
Fast-forward to 2012 and the singer transitioned from new wave to electropop with her second album Electra Heart.
The concept album is inspired by female American archetypes: Housewife, beauty queen, home wrecker, and idle teen. It saw Diamandis playing a role which allowed her to have much credence with the pop sound.
Overall the record deals mostly with the desolation of a relationship with themes of identity, gender, and self-loathing.
Half of the songs featured sound like mindless pop, highlighted mostly with the aptly named ‘Bubblegum Bitch’. ‘How To Be A Heartbreaker’, ‘Lonely Hearts Club’, and ‘Homewrecker’ all provide a fun, boppy feel with a deeper message below.
Conversely slotted between these tracks are much more sombre offering such as ‘Lies’, ‘Teen Idle’, ‘Buy The Stars’, and ‘Starring Role’. The heavy juxtaposition between the two sounds reflects the ideas of the deep and shallow, the real and the fake.
This was Diamandis’ first outing to hit number one in the UK, as well as a respectable 31 in the U.S. The critics were mixed with some praising her creativity, and some not understanding her style.
Alongside the record saw an 11-part video companion with some cuts acting as music videos and others as aesthetic companions.
On Valentines Days she appropriately announced her ‘Lonely Hearts Tour’ where she performed her numbers in overly-ellaborate, theatrical styling alongside props and dramatic set pieces.
We love the honesty and innovation of Marina and the Diamonds, with her second album proving to be her best work thus far. Hits such as ‘Primadonna’, ‘Teen Idle’, and ‘How To Be A Heart Breaker’ all register as gay anthems dealing with similar issues as the gay lifestyle.
Our Verdict Is: 10/10 This is one of our favourite ever albums and eras to come from an artist. Don’t only listen to the album, watch the videos, check the tour out on YouTube and re-listen to her interviews regarding the record. We’re sure you’ll be grateful.