I Listened To: Electra Heart by Marina and the Diamonds

Jan 25, 2017

Disclaimer: Lyrics relating to suicide is mentioned in this post.

Another disclaimer: I’m not good at writing reviews but I do like expressing my opinions. This is in no way a professional review but rather how I personally feel about this album.

I know Marina and the Diamonds’ album Electra Heart is one of her personally least favourite works but I like it a lot. Many people think Electra Heart represents an alter-ego but it’s rather a personality that Marina holds in disdain. I actually kinda love it. While some songs do resonate with my own personality, the overall theme of the corrupted American dream doesn’t coincide with my reality. But you have to admit that there are some catchy tunes on this album.

The album starts off with Bubblegum Bitch, which I was really apprehensive about at first. It turned out to be a really high energy song with a fun and catchy chorus. The guitar ripping througg the song really made it for me. It added a certain ironic feel that set the tone for the rest of the album.

The much loved Primadonna comes right after. It’s a little jarring to think about two different types of people as the topic one after the other (although, they are not necessarily mutually exclusive personalities). However, this was the song that got me sucked into Marina and the Diamonds. I hate to say it but Marina’s voice is perfect for capturing the entitled persona in this song and I fall all over it. Even though you know she doesn’t deserve anything good, you can’t help but give it to her.

Unfortunately, I am not a huge fan of Lies. I like slower songs but I really hate that cheesy drum clap thing going on. It’s not you, Marina, it’s me.

Homewrecker is a favourite of mine. I love the image a stereotypical American woman casually destroying marriages. Okay, that sounded bad. I don’t condone that at all but I just find it amazing how well this song captures the stereotype. It’s so easy to picture this person in your head.

The next track on the album is another one of my favourites: Starring Role. While thinking about this song, I realized how self centered all the songs on the album are so far and this is no exception. This song speaks about being the number one in someone’s life and not willing to take second place. However, it’s not as selfish as it sounds and I can sympathize with it. I also can overlook the cheesy clapping because I get chills whenever Marina sings “The starring role.”

I will have to admit that I don’t have any strong feelings for The State of Dreaming. I like how it picks up during the chorus and they way Marina sings “My life is play” but in between those moments, it’s a little boring. Ultimately, it’s a song that I would skip sometimes.

Power and Control is true to its name and Marina’s voice just exudes the song’s theme. There’s something about that booming voice that portrays confidence that the song calls for; someone ambitious who wants to get as much as possible with as little work as possible.

A lot of people seem to like Teen Idle a lot but I think this is one of my least favourite tracks on the album. The teen angst is just too much for me. Much of this album is over the top and extravagant but I can’t seem to enjoy this. I find the song a little bit boring but I like the irony in how the line “feeling super, super, super (super!) suicidal” is executed in a cheery way. But this song doesn’t jive with me at all.

The slow songs continue with Valley of the Dolls. While this isn’t a super favourite, I don’t mind this song much. I like the chorus a lot and the lyrics are pretty relatable. In my opinion, this song speaks of donning multiple personalities but ultimately not knowing who you really are at the core. It’s a pretty dark and speaks of death. Death of another personality or the physical person, I’m not sure.

I understand that the album is essentially a concept album that is operatic and has a story arch in the fashion as Green Day’s American Idiot but it’s a little bit draining to have so many slow songs in a row. There are theories that this album’s second half indicated the dying of the Electra Heart persona. This is not to say that Hypocrates isn’t a good song but I prefer it when I’m not listening to the album as a whole. I really like the mellow guitar and and the twinkling strings and Marina’s voice taking a softer and less abrasive tone. This is another song that I don’t mind much but don’t like it enough to save it to my Spotify library.

The album finishes off with Fear and Loathing which marks the end of Electra Heart. I do not like this song much. However, I am impressed with Marina’s higher register even if I still prefer when she reaches those lower notes. Conceptually, it isn’t a bad way to end the album.

Overall, I drastically prefer the first half of the album. I like this album but it’s not one I’d go out of my way to buy but rather buy select songs off of it. The concept is interesting and Marina doesn’t play around when it comes to her lyrics. It’s pretty cohesive as a whole. I really admire Marina and I like how she is continually trying out different things. Let’s see where she goes next with her music!