Electra Heart by Marina and the Diamonds
“Through others, we become ourselves.” That’s what Marina and the Diamonds aims to convey in her second album, “Electra Heart.” The Welsh singer (whose real name is Marina Diamandis) has created the story of a “perfect” fictional girl named Electra Heart, who is a little bit of everybody mixed together. Her use of the four archetypes – Beauty Queen, Housewife, Homewrecker, and Idle Teen – is awe-inspiring to listeners who like to be entertained with a story in addition to the music.
Recognizable by the signature heart on her left cheek, Electra Heart’s life is spent trying to find herself amid her many alter egos. Her archetypes are all partially based on Diamandis herself, and her unique personality is showcased throughout the album, both musically and lyrically.
Take away her fans (“the Diamonds”) and you’re left with a woman who is nowhere near your typical pop star. With tones and rhythms classified as alternative/indie pop, Marina Diamandis’ album is sure to please listeners with all different tastes.
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Like much of popular music today, the Electra Heart album is about love. However, it avoids annoying cliches, instead portraying the variations of a girl who is head-over-heels obsessed with love, yet hesitant to get attached.
Diamandis’ most successful single internationally, “Primadonna,” depicts the Beauty Queen archetype. With lines that teens can connect with, such as “I know I’ve got a big ego. I really don’t know why it’s such a big deal though,” this song is a perfect first track.
One noteworthy fact is that “Electra Heart” was written entirely by Diamandis, based on her own experience. “Teen Idle,” for instance, involves eating disorders and suicidal thoughts, which Diamandis dealt with growing up.
One of my favorites, “Starring Role,” is about a girl who is never first in another person’s life, so she would rather not be a part of it at all. Although “Power & Control” is repetitive with a synthesizer and keyboard throughout, the album is revived by other sanguine tracks, such as “Radioactive” and “Homewrecker.”
Listening to this album, I never got bored – especially with songs that make you either get up and dance (“How to Be a Heartbreaker”) or break down in tears before the chorus has even begun (“Lies”).
When I think of Marina and the Diamonds’ work, three words come to mind: real, relatable, and raw. Diamandis’ vocals and how she develops each sentimental song have never disappointed me. Lyrics like “I’m done with trying to have it all and ending up with not much at all” show listeners that this singer was once our age, and she can relate to how we’re feeling. Fans of Marina and the Diamonds agree that she’s brilliantly innovative, yet still young and changing.