Terran’s Take: FROOT by Marina & the Diamonds
After releasing her first album, The Family Jewels, in February 2010, and the death of her alter-ego character, Electra Heart, in August of 2013, Marina and the Diamonds (nee Marina Diamandis) is back and better than ever!!
The beauty who taught us all “How To Be A Heartbreaker” is on the verge of releasing her 3rd album, titled FROOT, and is releasing each track via Twitter till the debut on the 16th after completely disappearing after Electra Heart.
The original release date was April 6th, but with a leak online, the release date has been pushed forward (yay for us!) and I got a pre-listen before preordering my copy.
The album contains 12 tracks ranging from a piano ballad to the up-tempo, quirky, disco title track and everything in between!
Marina herself has said it’s her first work that is whatever she wanted adding that “half of the album is about a relationship that I had to end. It’s not something I feel good about, and it’s not something I’d really addressed before in my songwriting. In pop music in general it’s always this spurned ex-lover type of thing, but this time it wasn’t that at all. It was more like the guilt that you have to deal with that comes from hurting someone else. It’s just as hard as being rejected or dumped”.
To me FROOT is an electric, neon mix of The Family Jewels and Electra Heart, combining unique lyrics and dance beats for the perfect creation.
So here’s a track-by-track review of what I found to be one of the best albums released in years – only beaten by the adrenaline rush of ARTPOP (Lady Gaga) in my book.
- Happy ☆☆☆☆☆
The first track stands alone compared to the rest of the album and works as the perfect intro to the new Marina. In an interview with Line of Best Fit, Marina admitted that “I think I used to believe that being depressed was part of my personality or that I was born like that, but it’s quite shocking to realize that perhaps that isn’t the case” and Happy works as the perfect ballad about finding happiness in yourself.
- FROOT ☆☆☆☆☆
The title track of the new record is perhaps the quirkiest track I’ve ever heard – but also the catchiest. In the song Marina sings about herself as a fruit that is now ripe and ready with amazing disco synth beats. Quirky, but utterly perfect.
- I’m a Ruin ☆☆☆
“I’m a Ruin” gives fans the first slowed down yet still dance-y track of the album which will become the signature sound of the album. While the track contains an overly catchy “yeah eh yeah, uh huh”, the track doesn’t stand out among many of the other powerful tracks, but it’s still great!
- Blue ☆☆☆
In this fast-paced, sharp song Marina sings about not wanting to feel blue anymore asking for love, dreams, and “good self-esteem”. While the song is still good track (especially compared to the crap on radio now) it’s not great when put after tracks like “FROOT”
- Forget ☆☆☆☆
“Forget” is a great, more guitar-heavy track adding a nice refresher to the softer and slower tracks before it. Accompanied with a beautiful video of 2 Marinas (one singing in white, and one singing in black), “Forget” offers a rather celebratory dance track of Marina’s own human flaw – she “can’t forgive and forget”. I personally love the song for the way it allows you to celebrate your flaws rather than dread in them, and Marina adds an unexpected ending that continues when you would think it would end.
- Gold ☆☆☆
While I can’t clearly understand Marina’s lyrics in the chorus, this song really grew on me. “Gold” works as a relaxing, chilling in your bathtub, bedroom music kind of track, that how could you not love? While the track is extremely forgettable, it’s extremely calming.
- Can’t Pin Me Down ☆☆☆☆☆
Possibly my favorite track, “Can’t Pin Me Down” gives listeners another “feminist anthem” as she sings. The past anthem came from “Sex Yeah”, a deluxe track on Electra Heart for the US release that was unbelievably powerful subconsciously while dancing to a great beat. In “Can’t Pin Me Down” Marina basically sings my life motto – you can do whatever to me but you will never be able to pin me down.
- Solitaire ☆☆☆☆
While being a slow track, “Solitaire” gives listeners a memorable synth beat not found in any other Marina track to date. In the track Marina compares herself to a Solitaire diamond that is strong and pure, showing her growth in self esteem while incorporating lyrics of past depression.
- Better Than That ☆☆
“Better Than That” seems like an add-on, trying-too-hard track that could have (and should have) been left off. The song sings of a girl who can do “better than that” but if FROOT had left it off, it would have been a perfect album.
- Weeds ☆☆☆☆
Yet again, another great track. In “Weeds” Marina sings of her deep personal feelings of guilt over her past breakup as part of the half of the album written about a past love. Marina sings in her unique signature style about the guilt and love for her ex growing back in her heart like weeds. Heart wrenchingly beautiful, Marina does not disappoint.
- Savages ☆☆
Another track FROOT could have gone without; “Savages” is a song about the savage ways of human nature but sounds like the track is trying too hard to express its message. While I somewhat wish it would have been left off, I still catch myself humming it around the house.
- Immortal ☆☆☆☆☆
The 3rd “Froot of the Month”, released on January 1st, “Immortal” explores the uniquely human quest for immortality and the fear of death, especially the fear of death without leaving behind a legacy. Not only do the synth and beat along with Marina create a powerful yet vulnerable track, Marina’s somewhat angelic voice leads listeners to ponder their own thoughts on the world and their own internal fears.
Altogether, FROOT is a can’t-miss album, worth the $9.99 she’s asking for so much more. I promise you will not regret it.
FROOT is available for preoder now on marinaandthediamonds.com, iTunes, or Amazon and in stores Monday.
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