Marina has come a long way with her new album Electra Heart released last week. I won’t bore you with introductions, let me just describe what I think could be the best pop album in 2012:
Electra Heart is a concept album on subjects of identity, female archetypes and love channeled through different personas. One of which is Primadonna, the first single. This sugary, glitter covered monster of a pop track is sure addictive and full of personality. It’s your potential guilty pleasure, the kind of song you’d want to sing under the shower. But there is much more than sparkly pop to Electra. In fact half of the album is pretty dense and dark. Fear and Loathing, one of the best from the record, is a deep, melodic, downtempo electro ballad. Perfect for a solitary, midnight listening. Guitar-driven, cheeky Bubblegum Bitch and Power & Control are the catchiest of the lot and have potential to get stuck in your head and never leave while sleepy Teen Idle sounds sombre but haunting nonetheless.
The album excels particularly in the lyrics department. Ironic, dark or amusing are the thoughts of Electra Heart. The subjects are on the power of image, deception, pop culture, the loss of self and dealing with a failed relationship. Marina draws inspiration from Hollywood classics like Valley Of The Dolls, The Stepford Wives and greek archetypes.
In terms of the sound, Electra feels more pop-electronic than the previous material. Marina had a chance to collaborate with the likes of Dr. Luke, Diplo, Stargate, Greg Kurstin and Liam Howe while producing the album and thus enriched the sound but stayed true to her style as she had the full creative control.
Electra Heart is a well made, solid pop album, which delivers plenty of potential singles. It won’t disappoint any Marina fan and will surely create a new following. Many songs have a mainstream appeal but the ironic and often sinister lyrics are a real treat to a more ambitious listener. Deluxe Version comes with four bonus tracks and really is worth the price difference.
The bright: Primadonna, first single of the album :
The dark: Fear and Loathing, becoming of Electra Heart :