Album Review: The Family Jewels- Marina and the Diamonds

Marina and the Diamonds is an artist who has considerably grown on me. When I first heard her at Glastonbury last year I wasn’t sure if I liked her, but I gave her another listen when she was nominated for the BBC Sound of 2010 and I found a video of her playing Obsessions acoustic (watch below), and since seeing that I have been hooked. Her album ‘The Family Jewels’ Has received mixed reviews, some claiming she’s the next Kate Bush, others saying its dull and unoriginal. One thing I hear from the album is that she is definitely not unoriginal, I think incredibly unique. She’s making true pop-music, but rather than being manufactured and fake, its real. Songs such as ‘Hollywood’, ‘Shampain’ and ‘Mowglis Road’ show she can write a truly brilliant pop song, but its the darker sides of the album which I prefer. ‘Rootless’, ‘Obsessions’ and ‘The Outsider’ are all my personal highlights of the album. It’s this depth and darkness of the album, mixed with the brilliant pop songs which makes the album very unique. There are a few moments on the album where she over does the weirdness of her voice and a few of the songs have maybe too much effects and technology in them. I prefer Marina stripped down, just her voice and a piano line. I think she could do very well in the pop scene, I just hope she doesn’t over do pop and then forgets that she is really a song-writer and a very unique singer. So at the moment, I am a little undecided, although I think she’s brilliant, I also think its a little overproduced. It will be interesting to see if she is received as a pop star or as an alternative artist.

Best Tracks: Obsessions, Hollywood and Rootless (available as a free download as iTunes Single of the Week)

Rating: 3/5

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