Marina and the Diamonds have been shockingly quiet since their last album Froot from 2015. The album was a sold electropop performance with plenty of highs. However as time stretched on it seemed like all was not well in the Diamond world. Album delays, silence and mystery left people wondering if the atmospheric songstress was done. Well Marina is back, but it appears the Diamonds are not. The band was always about Marina, so ditching the Diamonds moniker seems like a predictable move. What wasn't predictable however is how easily Marina would slide back into her wonderful style. When Chairlift broke up it felt like electropop took a major hit. The synth coupled with a powerful female vocal had just run it's course and felt intellectually bankrupt. Especially for these artists who are always looking to push boundaries, feeling penned in and subject to the whims of fans can't sit well with them. This album however feels alive with creativity. A collaboration with Clean Bandit and Luis Fonsi "Baby" is a Spanish inspired electronic bop and will have your hips moving the second the beat drops. This album will couple with another called FEAR to make the 16 track opus of LOVE + FEAR. There is such a great punch on tracks like "Enjoy Your Life" where Marina's voice adds these super staccato punctuations to the end of every line that team up with the bass to hammer the point home.

As an 8 track experience the album feels concise and cutting, it will be interesting to see how it shakes out in the full version. "TO Be Human" feels like her "I've traveled the world and now I have insight on what makes us who we are" kind of song. These typically land with a thud because they do far to much assuming about the nature of folks, and this track suffers a similar fate. "End of the Earth" this records closer is also a bit overwrought but then when the electronics pick up and the song engages into it's second gear you realize where it was going all along. This record does feel a bit incomplete which is likely why the second piece will be coming soon, but it still works on so many level. It's great to hear Marina singing again and it gives you hope that the genre may yet find a reinvigorating push.

8.1 out of 10


Popular Posts