Here at FFS we get sent tons and tons of music every week. We try to listen to it all and we pick up on the things that grab us. Sometimes something we’ve listened to on MySpace and decided we’re not that keen on takes off and we’re left wondering whether we’ve missed something.
Such is the case with Marina & the Diamonds. I was sent a link to her MySpace back in 2008. I can remember having a listen, deciding it was throwaway diva powerpop and moving on. Since then there has been a lot of press and exposure but nothing that’s made me think again.
Then a couple of weeks ago Marina Diamandis, the woman behind the sparkly moniker, turned up on BBC 2’s This Week singing ‘I Am Not A Robot’ accompanied only by a piano. Her voice, stripped bare, is quite remarkable.
So, here I find myself on Spotify listening to her album The Family Jewels. On the opening track ‘Are You Satisfied’ her vocals sound a bit Amanda Palmer-lite. And it becomes apparent quite quickly that a lot of her songs start interestingly but are all given a generic pop chorus fit for the masses. I don’t know if the public need a melody and beat rammed down their throat to understand them, but that seems to be what they’re getting.
‘I Am Not A Robot’ is the best track by miles, the way Marina uses her voice as an instrument is showcased nicely and in this case the synth and drum machine suit the theme of the song.
I won’t listen to this album again without the overproduction making me want to pour acid in my ears, but minus that and some pretty cheesy lyrics, Ms Diamandis could turn out to be something pretty special. Looking forward to album number two.
Twitter response to Marina
I asked FFS’s Twitter followers what they thought of Marina and the Diamonds. Here’s what they said:
@mattcollinsongs: Overrated nasal rubbish! They’ll be gone in 18-24 months.
@johnjones81: Marina is like a poor man’s PJ Harvey
@The_GalleryCafe: Definitely style over substance
@werewiththeband: think its when Radio 1 gets hold of them that I get bored
@darlinglaura_: I just love Marina.
@deferredsucess: Marina = likeable pop fodder
@ARoseBtT: honestly bit meh but probably need to give a proper chance
@arteeeee: I don’t get the fuss and both are way overproduced. I saw Marina on the TV once singing acoustic and that was way better.
@solitaryblossom: (Marina+Ellie) < Florence
@drunkcountry: Overblown & drenched in production booth interference; nowhere near as good as the stadium gig in her head, her bedroom demos had far more character.
@TisforTaekwondo: Marina & the Diamonds I love!