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The Family Jewels

Averegeness abounds from budding UK starlet

Rating: 6 / 10

Paul Nolan, 23 Feb 2010

Another week, another female pop contender. The latest arrival on the conveyor belt is 24-year-old Greek-Welsh – surely a contender for the narrowest ethnic demographic ever? – singer Marina Diamandis (incidentally, any fans who accidentally stumble upon the site of avant garde goth performer Diamanda Galas are certainly in for a shock).

The Family Jewels largely consists of standard issue electro-pop with the odd punk-y guitar sound and quirky vocal flourish. Lyric-wise, Marina undoubtedly fancies herself, stating that the record is inspired by “the seduction of commercialism, modern social values, family and female sexuality”. She adds that “my only hope is for it to be enjoyed and consumed as a story and theory”. I suppose if you only have the one hope, you may as well make it a big one.

Unfortunately, Marina’s lyrical output generally isn’t much more sophisticated than the Spice Girls’ tiresome “girl power” manifesto. It’s important to be yourself and take no crap, okay? And, er, that’s about it. The phrase “the next Kate Bush” has been floated around in connection to the lovely Marina but the record conspicuously lacks a tune of the calibre of, say, ‘Wuthering Heights’.

There is the occasional catchy chorus but, overall, the melodies aren’t strong as Lady GaGa and it’s doubtful if Diamandis has the cult appeal of a Florence or a Bat For Lashes. She undoubtedly jostled herself into an early leading position in the 2010 Pop Grand National, but Marina has stumbled at the first.

Rating: 6 / 10
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