Review: Marina and the Diamonds – Froot

Almost three years after the release of her second album, pop queen Marina Diamandis – better known by her stage name, Marina and the Diamonds – is back in the charts with her new record, Froot. While Electra Heart was all synths and booming bass, Froot sees Diamandis return to the new wave stylings and personal lyrics that made her famous on 2010’s The Family Jewels.

From the first track, the style switch is apparent. “I found what I’d been looking for in myself, found a life worth living for someone else” goes the chorus of “Happy”; simple and empathetic words, Diamandis is in a confident place in her career and the song showcases her contentment, setting the tone for the remaining tracks.

However, that is not to say that the entire record is all cheery fluff; the songstress delves into some more controversial areas in later tracks. “Savages” hears the singer release all of her inhibitions around the faith of mankind. “I’m not afraid of God, I am afraid of man” sings Diamandis before going on to compile a list of man’s animalistic tendencies and actions that ensure damnation of the human race.

The personal nature of the record’s lyrics throughout evidence Diamandis’ return to her charismatic persona. The singer’s experiment with Electra Heart resulted in her transformation to a blonde bombshell diva. In order to make fun of the music industry, Diamandis had to become the stereotype in question. Unlike the preceding album, each track is not an individual attempt at becoming a hit single.

Songs such as “I’m a Ruin” and “Blue” are perhaps reminiscent of the fast paced dance like feel of Electra Heart, but in contrast the remaining tracks are only gradually catchy, pushing a major lyrical emphasis. At first, the title track appears to be a mildly electronic nonsensical tune, but a close inspection of the lyrics reveal the singer build an intricate analogy of her high maintenance relationship expectations to the ripening of fruit.

In comparison with her previous albums, Froot is essentially a recognition of Diamandis becoming closer to the “indie artist with pop goals” she says she wishes to be. While there exists a disconcerting shifting of genre throughout the album, those who have been there from the start will know that this is merely a quirk of Diamandis’ hyper nature and an integral part of her song writing process. Nevertheless, the record is a treat for lovers of good pop music and a welcome addition to traditional chart music.

Scout Mitchell

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