Review: Marina & the Diamonds – Electra Heart
Published on May 15th, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
“Don’t care if you think I’m dumb” sings Marina on opening track “Bubblegum Bitch”, and that’s a ruddy good job because, frankly, Electra Heart oozes ‘dumb’ from every musical orifice.
We’re not totally sure what a musical orifice is, but it feels like an apt phrase to throw in/up here. Furthermore, we say ‘sings’, but ‘Gwens’ or ‘Katies’ would be closer to the mark.
Revised opening sentence: “Don’t care if you think I’m dumb” Gwens Marina… Yes, that’ll do.
Lyrics like “Pull me closer and kiss me hard / I’m gonna pop your bubblegum heart”, however, will not. Rocksucker will come straight out and say that we hadn’t really given Marina & the Diamonds much of a listen before, although we suspected her/them to be a fairly dull but essentially well-meaning Florence and the Machine-a-like. Quite simply, we weren’t prepared for how cynically executed and disgustingly vapid this is for the most part.
“Primadonna Girl” is wretched, trendy electro bilgewater dressed unconvincingly as social commentary – “I know I’ve got a big ego / I really don’t get why it’s such a big deal, though”, indeed – while the self-explanatory “Homewrecker” fares only slightly better by having some sort of actual tune to it, lame spoken-word sections notwithstanding.
“You don’t love me” she Gwens in “Starring Role”, immediately following this prescient observation by Katying “big fucking deal”. What, honestly, is the point of swearing on a record that’s patently designed for 12-year-olds? Maybe it’s that nasty old Madonna’s influence, maybe Marina and the oily wretches no doubt responsible for this ‘slick product’ are actually deluded enough to think that people who want a bit of anger in their music will be queuing up to buy this Woolworths rubbish (sorry Woolworths, your pick ‘n’ mixes are sadly missed). Maybe Marina’s trying to hammer home the rather laboured point that she doesn’t care, ’cause she’s like, y’know, totally ‘edgy’.
F.A.O. MARINA LAMBRINI (yes, Lambrini, as in ‘the musical equivalent of’) DIAMANDIS: IF YOU’RE SO BLOODY ‘EDGY’, STOP MAKING HORRENDOUS, CHART-SHAGGING MUSIC.
To be fair, the music gets marginally better as the album goes on. However, the lyrics remain consummate cannon fodder – “All I really want is to be wonderful / People in this town they can be so cruel”. (Bites tongue) Or how about this from “Power and Control”: “Think you’re funny? / Think you’re smart?”
Think you’re talented?
As for “Hypocrates”…well, that’s not how you spell ‘hypocrites’. On the plus side? The synthy melodrama of “Fear and Loathing” doesn’t appal, while the lyrics of “Sex Yeah” at least attempt to say something worthwhile (“If women were religiously recognized sexually / We wouldn’t have to feel the need to show our ass-ets / It’s to feel free”) – overall, though, this album’s outstanding success is that it ends.
Electra Heart doesn’t quite plumb the depths explored by Madonna’s MDNA (click here to read our somewhat aghast review of that), but that makes it less compelling. It gets slightly better towards the end, though, so we’ll give it…
Rocksucker says: Half a Quail out of Five!
Electra Heart is out now on Satan’s own record label. For more information, please visit www.google.co.uk and type random phrases in until something relevant pops up.