Album Review: "FROOT" by Marina and The Diamonds

For those of you who don't know Marina and the Diamonds, she's a great pop/alternative rock singer who absolutely slays every song she does. Okay, okay, I'll try to contain my fan speak.

Her lyrics are what's missing from modern Top 40 pop music; substance, depth, personality and personal insight. If you're looking for a little gravity with your fun pop beats, check her out. If you're a fan of Lana Del Rey, you'll probably love Marina, too. They complement each other like peaches and cream! Her 2012 album "Electra Heart" is one of my Top 5 favorite of all time, so how does her new one stack up? Read on!

1.     Happy – A beautiful start to the album! It naturally swells from a sweet, simple song into a anthemic power ballad. Gurl, it’s just plain good music, with an aspirational lyric about finding peace with yourself. I can't wait to feel this secure! MUSIC VIDEO Review: The accompanying, acoustic music video features a gorgeous stage setup for Marina and her band members, complete with bokeh lighting effects (it's lens flare city). Category is: J.J. Abrams realness!

2.     Froot – A delicious neo-disco romp that owes more to Duran Duran than Daft Punk. MUSIC VIDEO Review: The lighting and Marina herself are gorgeous, and the fun energy of her dance breaks (werk! slay! yaaas!) make the video one of the best of the FROOT era thus far.

3.     I’m a Ruin – Gorgeous song. Great lyric about worrying you will ruin your partner emotionally and are not worthy of them. MUSIC VIDEO Review: Honey, let’s be real. This video is a straight up, low-budgeted rip-off of Madonna’s Frozen clip. However, Marina embraces it and makes it her own, so after the initial shock wears off, it seems moreso like an homage to Madge. A hoMadge, if you will. 

4.     Blue – Marina said this song was more pop radio-friendly, and I have to agree. I believe this has the best chance of all the FROOT songs to hittin' it big on pop radio. I hope she releases it as a single, because it’s a phenomenal pop track and she could do a lot of fun things with the potential music video.

5.     Forget – YAAAAAS! The chorus on this one soars. Probably the biggest and most exciting chorus on the album. Very touching and thought-out lyric… well, duh, it’s Marina and The Diamonds. MUSIC VIDEO Review: My favorite music video of the era thus far. A really fresh, fun, yet simple piece which features Marina performing solo and with a band, all on a large turntable set.

6.     Gold – Pretty cute and mellow song. Sounds like you're in a digital rainforest sipping computer fan juice out of a tourist trap collector's cup. MUSIC VIDEO Review: Holy basic, Batman. This isn’t even a video, it’s a still image. The only FROOT of the Month not to get its own real music video.

7.     Can’t Pin Me Down – A standout track, dealing with contradictions and not wanting to live up to others’ expectations. The lyric “Do you really want me to write a feminist anthem? I’m happy cooking dinner in the kitchen for my husband,” is especially interesting,  considering Marina herself is a feminist.

8.     Solitaire – Beautiful song! A ballad about longing to feel special.

9.     Better Than That – What a juicy song! It’s about some THOT that got with one of Marina’s guy friends. Would love to see a music video for this one.

10.  Weeds – Probably my favorite track. The chorus is absolutely beautiful and the lyric deals with a side of relationships you don’t hear described in song very often.

11.  Savages – GENIUS!!! That is all. Listen below!

12.  Immortal – At first I saw this song as ultra-depressing (well, it still is) and a sour note to end the album on (well, that is still kinda true, too), but I realized something. If the album is named and themed after fruit, “Happy” is the promising and upbeat, joyful beginning… and “Immortal” is the sad, morbid end. In this way, “Immortal” is a pretty perfect close to an album that explores life, decay, and mortality. The song itself, however, is easily my least favorite of the album, and its accompanying music video is uninspired.

 

Derek’s Current Rating: 9/10 - It’s safe to say that FROOT is something that lyricism snobs and club kids alike can enjoy.

How Many Licks? - Listen to this at least twice before you decide how you feel about it. A couple songs like Immortal and Gold are major “growers,” and the rest are instant greats.

Best Version to Buy: Vinyl w/Bonus CD – Not only do you get the album in the best sonic quality possible (vinyl), you can use the included CD copy to download the album to your iTunes. Plus, the gorgeous cover art sparkles on the 12x12 inch packaging.

FROOT (Vinyl w/Bonus CD)
$19.98
By Marina and The Diamonds