herald

Tuesday 16 October 2018

Diamond girl gives more glittering pop

Marina and the Diamonds Electra Heart (Atlantic/679)

Now that Jessie J has morphed into the family entertainment equivalent of Betty's hotpot on Coronation Street, it's left to Marina Diamandis to turn up the heat and offer pop fans a feisty alternative to the cuddly soul swoon of Adele.

Declaring "I'm gonna be your Bubblegum Bitch...", Marina is back with a thunderous throwdown that'll rattle ribcages on the dancefloor and bring a smile to faces lost in emotional negative equity.

Marina once told me that she felt she had a destiny to fulfill. On this banging new 12-track collection you can hear it knocking.

"All I ever wanted was the world," she insists on the electro-pop blast that's Primadonna, her new single.

Various top producers worked on the songs that Marina describes as "an ode to dysfunctional love".

From Wales, Marina had dropped out of four different universities before she made the decision to pursue her pop ambitions.

Her debut album, The Family Jewels, was a moderate success. Electra Heart is much more fun. An underlying theme of putting on a brave face to cope with rejection helps produce some memorable anthems. The most hilarious is Homewrecker, on which Marina speaks in a clipped English accent. "Boys and their toys and their six inch rockets, are all very lovely till we get to know each other...".

The chorus is a pounding glam-rock attack. "Homewrecker. I break a million hearts just for fun..." Pure pop for now people.

But, like an old movie, there's light and shade. Lies is a mid-tempo heartbreaker. Fear & Loathing is a floaty pop angst ballad.

A clever lass, Marina knows how to project. "The superstars of our generation, and previous generations, they've always been visionaries," she told me back then. "Like David Bowie. Madonna, obviously. Elvis always had his image. Marilyn Monroe. It's a whole visual feast. I love aesthetics. I love beauty."

To that list she's now added Marie Antionette, the glamorous French queen who was executed. And Marina has also gone blonde. It's not just gentlemen who'll prefer that. HHHHI

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