Get ready to hear about “the life, the rise and fall” of a primadonna–for a whole hour. New Electra Heart from Marina and the Diamonds tells a story full of glamour and drama. The album is quite like a movie, picturesque and narrated with passion from start to finish. And it’ll have you on the edge of your seat.
Electra Heart draws from iconic styles of pop from way back when, a time that some might consider the “glory days” of pop music: when Madonna ruled and Blondie was the hottest thing. Now, in the days of Katy Perry and our favorite Nicki Minaj, she stands tall as she remains traditional in her style, never wavering with the trends that might appeal to wider audiences. Marina’s dance-pop groove has always worked for her, and it’s only convenient for her now to release such powerful glamour at a time where her individual style is at the height of the market.
We can take a hint from the blurred, faded artwork on Electra Heart’s cover. Marina and the Diamonds are throwing fans back in time.
“Radioactive” was the first fans heard from the singer since 2010’s “Shampain,” channeling a dance-pop vibe that was sure to be found in bulk on the new Electra Heart, which we soon learned was a promise to be kept. “Radioactive” is a dense but powerful dance jam about a special connection two people share. It was the first output toward Marina and the Diamonds’ second album, but the best was yet to come.
“Primadonna” was thrust onto the airwaves, and it was meant to blow up. Spitting rhymes only meant for divas, Marina sings a tale of what it means for her to be treated like a princess. Complemented by a sparkling backing of innocence that evolves into a gritty pop beat, the song soars to perfection as soon as the bass drops and the words “would you do anything for me?” hit the track. It was made to drive you crazy in the best of ways.
As Electra Heart chimes on, it’s clear that every song was carefully placed, leaving no space for filler tracks or forgettable spins to land on the final compilation of the album. Many sides of the songstress are represented, not just the prissy one. “The State of Dreaming,” for example, is romantic, heartbreaking and mesmerizing. It has the effect of making a listener feel completely alone in the most comfortable way.
Fans will find no reason to complain at any point within Electra Heart and this is why: Marina’s writing and lyrical content contain lyrics only meant to be sung by fans into their own hairbrushes or shampoo bottles or what have you. “Teen Idle” is the essence of the wannabe-superstar embodiment, telling stories of what could’ve been:
“Yeah I wish I’d been, I wish I’d been, a teen, teen, idle/Wish I’d been a prom queen fighting for the title.”
Stories like this are begging to be sung out loud and are too loud to be performed alone. “Starring Role” is the album’s poster child of conceptualization. Though it’s farfetched, it’s indulgent and relatable. Marina speaks to her listeners through her music, instead of producing it for notoriety and touring it for her own sake.
With a context such as this one, it’s impossible to wonder whether or not she’s delivering directly to her gay fan base. We’re divas, primadonnas and wannabe superstars with real sparkle and real problems. Marina and the Diamonds caters to us. If we’ll allow it, we can become hypnotized with a story that was made for us to hear.