I’ve always been very skeptical about The Voice because they have never delivered an artist that I have thought “wow, they bring something very unique to the industry” unlike American Idol or The X Factor. Until now, that is. Melanie Martinez was on the 2012 US series of The Voice and reached the Top 6 before being eliminated. Since the competition she has been signed to Atlantic Records and has been working on her debut album. “Cry Baby” is one of 2015’s most impressive debut pop records. This concept record explores the world of a fictional character on a journey of self-discovery with some gruesome tales and dark undertones making this pop affair intriguing to say the least. Introducing listeners to this tale is title track “Cry Baby” where she sings about not being ashamed of her vulnerability. “They call you cry baby, cry baby but you don’t fucking care,” and the cabaret styled infectious indie pop tracks just keep on coming. “Dollhouse” gives you a dark look at what happens behind closed doors, painting a pretty pictures of a beautiful dollhouse with betrayal, drugs and sex hidden on the other side. “Don’t hear me when I say, Mom, please wake up. Dad’s with a slut, and your son is smoking cannabis. No one ever listens, this wallpaper glistens”. She then regrets saying the word “love” on the infectious and unique “Soap” that sees her experimenting with a different production style that will have the bubble pop hook stuck in your head instantly. “Tag You’re It” is the most captivating and confronting song on the record with the character being kidnapped by a wolf and a rape like scenario being described. It’s her storytelling ability that makes this album stand out and impress while her pop hooks will become indented in your mind. “Sippy Cup” sees her experimenting with water sounds and a RNB influenced flavor while “Mrs. Potato Head” sees her exploring the concept of plastic surgery implementing some dubstep sounds. “Carousel” and “Pity Party” are the most commercial sounding tracks on the album and sees her sampling “It’s My Party” with a really cool slight breakdown before the final chorus which will electrify her live shows. With the child like themes and indie pop sound some of the songs don’t quite make the same impact as others do with “Milk And Cookies” and “Pacify Her” leaving you a bit underwhelmed. “Alphabet Boy” and “Training Wheels” are two of my favourite tracks on the album along with album closer “Mad Hatter” which leaves you singing this great one liner, “So what if I’m crazy? The best people are”.
As a debut album “Cry Baby” will have you impressed, captivated and wanting more. Her vocals are intriguing and if you can imagine a cross between Lana Del Rey and Marina And The Diamonds with a little bit of Lady Gaga then you have Melanie Martinez. This concept album doesn’t fail to deliver infectious pop melodies and impactful lyrics that will have you at time questioning her motives. If you haven’t heard of her yet then it’s time to discover her because if you love artistic approach to pop music then you will LOVE this record.