Marina & the Diamonds, The Family Jewels Review

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Ridg8's review of Marina & the Diamonds, The Family Jewels

“Welcome to the stage. Marina & the Diamonds swoop onto...”


written by Ridg8 on 03/08/2010

Welcome to the stage. Marina & the Diamonds swoop onto the British album charts with their first studio album, 'The Family Jewels'. Lack of originality is the one thing you cannot accuse her of, with her undiscovered genre gracing the untaught ears of the Isles. Really? Yes the Kate Nash/'Opera' toned cross is original, but has she gone one step too far...originality and success are often placed together, (see Lady Gaga) however this is just plain weird!

The attitude-filled single 'Hollywood' introduced the Welsh newcomer with great success amongst the house-bound radio requesters, as a new type of poetry was unleashed upon the nation. I, along with many others, was drawn in to the creative pop sound with an open mind, but by 'Mowgli's Road' (the fifth track) I had heard it all. Many albums are mistaken as containing much the same sound, but with a sight change in pace and tone; and granted some may have this particular negative quality, (Linkin Park, Meteora for example) however the Marina sound seems to lack even this possibility of a slight variation.

'Are You Satisfied' opens the playlist with, yes, the sound you were expecting following singles 'Hollywood' and 'I am not a Robot'. The question is now, which song strays away from this basis and becomes perhaps more mainstream, fitting a genre that will appeal to the masses and the answer sadly is none. No summer tune, no easy listening, no dance-to anthem, just the single string to her bow that are the lyrics; poetry with a wacky twist. And so it begins, the task itself that is determining and analysing the lyrical genius that means so much when you have the time to lay and admire: less fitting for a social meeting, perhaps this is not her aim.

Sure Marina will have her 'Diamonds' (meaning fans she explains) but a musical blockbuster is far from her reach, perhaps her next album will show a positive evolution. The problem with her venture into an unknown musical territory is that perhaps the territory is unoccupied for a reason; try selling Encyclopaedias to teenagers...there is no market.

The introductory album for the Welsh/Greek singer settled at a peak of fifth on the UK album chart, a feat that is far from extraordinary. Marina may have success on the horizon, but we are yet to see it.

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