Marina and the Diamonds: Electra Heart
Welsh songstress Marina Diamandis is gifted with a quirky voice and her own sense of style, sharing as much of her sound with Kate Bush as she does with Florence and the Machine. With her sophomore album, Electra Heart, she has set her sights on the concept album. This record follows a woman named Electra Heart, a vapid, heartless woman desperate for fame, love, and belonging.
Adhering to this theme might be the album’s central weakness. Diamandis does herself a disservice in trying to put down the shallow Hollywood lifestyle by merely describing it in vivid detail. For instance, “Sex Yeah” uses the word “sex” a cringeworthy amount and makes for uncomfortable listening. The same issue comes up with the spoken-word elements of “Homewrecker,” in which she describes “girls and their cosmic gourmet vomit.”
Diamandis is at her best when she goes further toward the electronic and unusual. “Primadonna” is a sassy, upbeat tune that parodies the character of Electra Heart by at least making her aware of her own shallowness. The lament “Lies” showcases the power of Diamandis’ voice and also exposes the vulnerability of those frivolous characters in her story.
Overall, Electra Heart is a perfectly listenable LP of pop music. However, in trying to pull off a deeper meaning, Diamandis manages to be less a social commentator and more trapped in her own character’s world.