‘Don’t need money, don’t need fame, I just want to make a change’

Taken from Marina and the Diamonds’ early single Oh No!, these lyrics now ring hollow as the band finishes its Electra Heart UK tour. Having frankly admitted her frustration with the response to her debut album The Family Jewels,  Marina last year declared ‘I want everyone to love me.’  To what sacrifice, though? Marina and the Diamonds’ second album has certainly succeeded in gaining her a larger audience, reaching Number 1 in the UK official chart, whilst her first peaked at a disappointing Number 5. And yet, Electra Heart is all that her debut scorned, simmering with Hollywood-infected lyrics and pulsating with abused house beats. Were it not for the deep cynical quirk still present in her vocals, Marina’s latest album would lounge unobtrusively amongst the swathes of production-line music currently dominating the charts.
Admittedly, the theme perpetuated by both albums is fairly consistent: each deals with a thirst for success. However, their approaches are markedly different. The Family Jewels explores Marina’s craving for the extraordinary in an almost therapeutic way, acknowledging, and sometimes mocking, the neuroticism which accompanies any pursuit of greatness. It retains a refreshing uniqueness, not only in its honesty, but in its nonconforming sound, making it one of my most-played albums. For Electra Heart, though, Marina seems to have dissected what it is to sell big, rearranged the components and created a disc which fits snugly into the Top 40 conveyor belt.
And so it seems that Marina has achieved both money and fame. However, with repetitive, meaningless lyrics about radioactive humans (although it is possible that she is prophesying a nuclear disaster due to Tory idiocy, in which case, I take my hat off to the lass), she shan’t be changing much anytime soon.
 
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