Friday, 16 September 2011

Marina and the Diamonds - Fear and Loathing

Some time back in the mists of blogdom I raved about Greek Welshwoman, Marina and the Diamonds.  Time has passed since her last release, ‘The Family Jewels’ and she has been a bit quiet of late.  Well, she’s back and if the phrase, ‘A game of two halves’ was invented for anything, it was made to apply to her new material – an album track labelled ‘Part 1: Fear and Loathing’ and a single release, ‘Part 2: Radioactive’.  Videos for both have just been launched on her YouTube site.

It appears that they are supposed to be linked but I’m buggered if I can see what the connection is.  ‘Part 1: Fear and Loathing’ is by far the better of the two.  It is a smouldering ballad wallowing in a massively atmospheric backdrop, the type of which she seems more than adept at writing.  This sort of tuneful yet slightly dark song suits her unique vocal delivery down to the ground.  It makes you realise that there is no one around currently who sounds exactly like her or has her peculiar accent.  I find it very endearing, but that’s probably just me.

It takes a few listens to get all the hooks but this in itself is a plus as there is nothing worse than a song that you can sing on first hearing – there is nothing left to know.  If this is a taste of what’s to come on the new album then bring it on.

Unfortunately, ‘Part 2: Radioactive’ rather lets the side down.  The polar opposite of Part 1, it is the type of up-tempo electro-pop that everyone and his dog is putting out at the moment from Katy Perry to Jessie J and it just doesn’t stand out from the crowd.  In fact, I struggle to stick with it all the way through which is a dreadful shame as these types of songs on her debut CD all had tremendously hook laden tunes but this is just not strong enough.  I just hope that this one is not representative.

Either way, I shall await the new material, to be entitled, ‘Electra Heart’, with much agog-ness as ‘The Family Jewels’ was close to being my Album of the Year, 2010.  Second albums are always a bit of a decider for me as to whether I stick with them or not so there is much resting on Ms Diamandis.  I hope she pulls it off again, as I consider her a rare talent.

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