By Liam McGurl
[Image courtesy of Wikipedia.org]
On March 13, Welch singer/songwriter Marina Diamandis, known professionally as Marina and the Diamonds, released her third studio album, Froot. While Diamandis’ latest effort was originally set to release on April 3, its recent release was prompted due to a series of unauthorized internet leaks over the past few months.
While the complete release of the album came as a shock to some, many fans anticipated an upcoming release due to Diamandis’ constant promotional campaigns on her website and her Twitter account. To kick off the promotion of the album, one official single was released each month leading up to the official release. By the time the album was made available to the public, the singles “Froot,” “Happy,” “Immortal,” “I’m a Ruin” and “Forget” were officially released and received generally positive reviews from critics.
Often noted for her 2012 pop track “Primadonna Girl,” Diamandis features a much more mysterious tone on these new tracks – unlike her definite pop sound on her preceding effort Electra Heart. Overall, the majority of the leading tracks are somber with serious undertones. While Diamandis’ evolving style may stray her away from guaranteed success in the pop world, it is likely that it will create an appeal to a whole new audience.
“Happy,” the first track to appear on the album, features the dark story of a struggle to find happiness. Singing the words, “I found what I’d been looking for in myself / found a life worth living for someone else / never thought that I could be, I could be / happy, happy.” “Happy” discusses the human condition of being upset, wanting to find love and finding someone we feel we can live for.
Other songs which conform to the haunting nature of many of the tracks are “Solitaire,” “Weeds,” “Gold” and “Immortal.”
While “Happy” is a sentimental ballad, the second song on the album, “Froot,” has a slightly more upbeat and mysterious tone. Perhaps this song is the most eclectic of the bunch as the track uses the metaphor of Diamandis being a fruit waiting to be juiced. This song seems to be fairly sexualized and is one of the more promising successes off the album.
The third song to appear is “I’m a Ruin” which comments on a lover’s desire to continue on loving, despite being a detriment to their partner. Also on this track, it is suggested that the lover being discussed has some sort of secret as shown in the line “Don’t wanna keep a secret but I don’t know how to keep it fair, yeah.”
Moving through the album, “Blue” is the most seemingly pop conforming song on the album. Much like “Froot,” this track seems to have pop undertones that may be hit for mainstream broadcasting. “Forget” and “Better than That” are other upbeat tracks off the record.
Perhaps the most empowering song on the album is the feminist track “You Can’t Pin Me Down” which plays off of the expected sexual and gender roles of women. Diamandis takes a bold risk with this song and touches on a topic often ignored singing the words “I am never gonna give you anything you expect / you think I’m like the others, boy, you need to get your eyes checked / checked.”
The most controversial track off the album, “Savages,” mentions some touchy topics like rape. This effort seems to be a direct critique on society’s violent, narcissistic and hedonistic nature. The catchy chorus of this painfully honest tune comments on facades and deception: “Underneath it all we’re just savages / hidden behind shirts, ties and marriages / how could we expect anything at all? / we’re just animals still learning how to crawl.” Also, throughout the song Diamandis discusses the idea that man should be our biggest fear due to the recurrent destruction of self and others we see in the media.
Diamandis’ efforts are expected to be successful—whether in the mainstream media or among her constantly growing fan base. Along with Diamandis’ efforts with Froot, she is also expected to go on “The Froot Tour” which will be stopping at major annual events such as Coachella Festival and Lollapalooza Festival.
Regardless of if listeners are past fans of Diamandis, emerging fans or are uninterested in her catchy tunes, most agree that she has most definitely rocked the music industry.