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Crazy Diamond gets a Euro-dance makeover
Edwin McFee, 21 May 2012
Y’know, it must be hard being Welsh singer/songwriter Marina Diamandis. As her contemporaries such as Florence + The Machine, Adele and, to a lesser extent, Ellie Goulding have gone forth and flown the flag for women on the British music scene, her own career has stalled somewhat after the initial success of her 2010 single ‘Hollywood’. She’s since been left trying to convince the record-buying public that she’s much more than a pop puppet and really does “mean it, maaaaan.” Electra Heart is her second stab at things and, all things considered, it seems as if she has had a bit of a re-think in relation to her sound.
Gone are the initial Polly Harvey-isms and in its place is a new, softer look and feel, backed with an edgier sound that fizzles with a distinctly “euro-disco” flavour. Inspired by a bad break-up, Marina tries to turn her frown upside-down on the likes of the defiant, No Doubt-ish ‘Bubblegum Bitch’ and the snap, crackle and pop-laced ‘Primadonna’, while assuring us all that she “doesn’t belong to anyone” on the decidedly Eurovision sounding ‘Homewrecker’.
Of course, the new Uncle Sam-inspired sheen of songs such as ‘Power & Control’ will no doubt make many original Diamonds’ fans feel a little bit cheated, and the ‘80s power ballads (‘Hypocrates’, ‘The State Of Dreaming’) will leave many wondering whether Electra Heart is a genuine progression for the singer or a calculated attempt at cracking the American market (in fact Marina teases “I think I want an American tan/ I think I’m gonna be my biggest fan”, on ‘Bubblegum Bitch’). Either way it’s yielded a solid pop album. Will this be the record that will give the starlet the mainstream career she craves? I wouldn’t bet against it.