REVIEW: Electra Heart

Marina and the Diamonds’ eagerly awaited second album, Electra Heart, is finally here.

Building on the success of her debut album The Family Jewels – which saw Marina play sell-out gigs across the country, as well as land headlining slots at the likes of Reading 2010 – this follow-up boasts several of the industry’s biggest producers on its track-list, including Dr Luke and Stargate.

On the surface, the album appears to be a continuation of the quirky style that propelled her on to the airwaves back in 2010. But if you want depth, it’s there – according to Marina (and the Diamonds, of course…), Electra Heart represents a young female faced with the ‘corrupt side of American ideology’. Tunes such as Bubblegum Bitches, Homewrecker and Valley of the Dolls all represent this theme loud and clear, and in her characteristic style, Marina’s poppy melodies are heavily underplayed by her dark, clever lyrics.

But this isn’t just music: it’s a tale. In an interview with the Daily Telegraph, Marina described the process behind the album’s creation: ‘I based the project around character types commonly found in love stories, film and theatre, usually ones associated with power and control in love, as opposed to weakness or defeat… Rejection is a universally embarrassing topic and Electra Heart is my response to that. It is a frank album.’

Overall, it’s the kind of album that’ll probably play to death, up until the point where all the songs begin to merge into one long, vaguely bitter-sounding melody and you go slightly insane. But perhaps, as Marina has hinted throughout her two albums so far, that’s the way we’re all going anyway.

Peter Byrne

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