ALBUM REVIEW: Marina And The Diamonds – FROOT
Evolving over the past couple of years Marina And The Diamonds have given us indie pop realness (“The Family Jewels”) and has shown us a quirky bubblegum pop alter ego (“Electra Heart”). For her third studio album she has stripped everything back and has returned to her roots opening up to her fans once again. Opening with the emotionally raw “Happy” she sings about her struggling quest to find happiness. “I believe in possibility, I believe someone’s watching over me and finally I have found a way to be happy”. The ballad has quickly become a fan anthem with its easily relatable lyrics and underlying message of hope. “Immortals” is the other token ballad which has received a lot of love from the fans and yes it’s pretty and yes it’s quotable but as the respective opening and closing tracks I think “Happy” embodies a stronger message.
Title track “Froot” embraces Marina’s quirkiness that fans fell in love with and while the song is a tad strange it’s infectiously catchy. With a retro 80’s groove you can’t help but want to move your feet. Following in its steps is the extremely weird but ultra-cool “Blue”. The pre hook will instantly be stuck in your head with its disco vibe that makes the song stand out as an album highlight. “Gimme love, gimme dreams, gimme a good self esteem. Gimme good and pure, what you waiting for?”
“Gold” is forgettable, it’s a song that people will skip past and that’s a shae because lyrically it’s one of the stronger tracks. ”Yeah I know that I need the gold but what I love can’t be bought or sold. Don’t think I want what I used to want. Don’t think I need what I used to need”. The intent of emotion in the delivery isn’t there and the production is lackluster and boring. “Can’t Pin Me Down” is mediocre, it has a catchy hook that people will instantly like but compared to other similar tracks on this album it isn’t one of the strongest. It has me feeling very meh. And following in both of these trends are the forgettable “Solitaire” and “Weeds” that both have poor production and deserve the skip button.
“Better Than That” delivers a rock sound that I was waiting for this whole album and the gritty guitars and perfect hand claps do not disappoint. You will be jamming to this song along with the undeniably brilliant “Savages” that will have your whole body moving. The lyrics look at society as a whole and how we are to blame for our destructive behavior. “Underneath it all we’re just savages, hidden behind shirts, ties and marriages. How can we expect anything at all? We’re just animals still learning how to crawl”.
As an entirety “Froot” does sound like a sequel to “The Family Jewels” with “I’m A Ruin” and “Forget” sounding like old lost tracks that have been magically rediscovered. These two of my favourite songs on the album with their easy beats and captivating hooks that translate well. Her vocals constantly leave me in awe, her range is unique and leaves you feeling well meditated. Her music is honestly like therapy. The lyrics are so relatable and raw that you can mirror your life into songs and feel spiritually connected. Saying that this album does have its flaws with a handful of songs that will need the skip button. She wrote and produced this album solely with only one co-producer which is a massive feat for any “pop” artist. “Froot” takes a darker and more honest approach to the songwriting and production allowing her to finally be true to her herself as an artist again. This is an album you need to go into listening with an open mind as it is nothing like her last bubblegum pop record but the essence of her quirkiness is still there. I’m glad she’s taken full creative control for this album because we have gotten to know her on a deeper connection and haven’t lost her to the machine.