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Album Review: Marina & The Diamonds - Electra Heart

13 July 2012 | 2:06 pm | Zoya Patel

Diamandis’ vocals are the highlight of the record, but one can’t help but feel that she would have been better off sticking to her roots.

In the current music era where beautiful women with powerful voices reign supreme, Marina Diamandis of Marina & The Diamonds seems to be suffering from an identity crisis. Following the lacklustre success of her debut album The Family Jewels, Diamandis has ditched her indie singer/songwriter roots and outsourced the writing and production of her album to various professionals who have a history of successful singles for other pop stars including Rihanna and Katy Perry.

The changes don't stop there – she has also created an alter ego for herself, a la Lady Gaga, who she calls 'Electra Heart'. Electra Heart is basically just Diamandis in a blonde wig with '50s make-up and costumes, pouting at the camera in various video clips and photos. Despite the clichéd aspects of her transformation, it can't be denied that Electra Heart does deliver the kind of trashy, fun pop music it promises.

Single, Primadonna, is slow-building, energetic pop at its best, only enhanced by Diamandis' sweeping vocals. Building on this promising start, the album features a string of equally catchy, fun tracks that will likely keep bodies moving, such as the ballad-y The State Of Dreaming, and the bubblegum pop Sex Yeah.

Sadly, however, probably in an attempt to display depth, Electra Heart soon disintegrates into an over-produced, slightly bland mix of slow-burners and repetitive dance songs, with the previously stated tracks being the obvious standouts. Diamandis' vocals are the highlight of the record, but one can't help but feel that she would have been better off sticking to her roots, and persevering with more original songs that reflect her abilities, rather than trying to tag along with the kind of stadium pop that is already being done, and usually being done better.

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