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[Review] Marina and The Diamonds - Power & Control

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Monday, June 4, 2012

[Review] Marina and The Diamonds - Power & Control

Marina and The Diamonds Power and Control

Last week, Welsh singer/songwriter Marina and The Diamonds unveiled the STUNNING Casper Balslev (Marina and The Diamonds, The Presets, Ladyhawke)-directed video for her new single, "Power & Control" and I immediately flashed back to when I heard her glorious voice for the first time.  The voice of Marina Diamandis is in a league of it's own. It's a beast so UNIQUE, that you don't know whether to love it unconditionally or question where the eff it came from.  To be honest...I'm kind of floating in the middle of that spectrum.  "Power & Control" will be released July 9th in the UK (iTunes UK).

Written with Steve Angello (Swedish House Mafia) and produced by the incomparable Greg Kurstin (The Bird and The Bee), "Power & Control" is of the highest musical pedigree, a powerful electro-pop thoroughbred charging at you full speed.  While "Power & Control" most certainly falls within the "dance-pop" genre, the song should not be immediately dismissed and dispensed with.  If you loved Marina's quirky, yet mesmerizing debut album, don't fret.  That individuality and personality are still very much present.  Just try and tune out the banging of the electro synths and focus on the melody and lyrics.  That's all Marina and The Diamonds.  The sound just might be a little more mainstream that you expected.

With a number one album and Top 10 single already under her belt this year, I think it's safe to say Marina Diamandis doesn't have to worry about that dreaded sophomore slump.  Following the release of promotional singles "Fear and Loathing" and "Radioactive" (the latter of which peaked at #25) Marina dropped the album's official first single on March 20th. "Primadonna," the Dr. Luke/Cirkut-produced lead single off Marina and The Diamonds' sophomore album, Electra Heart debuted on the UK Singles Chart at an impressive #11 becoming her highest charting single today.  While a promising start for the Electra Heart campaign, a Top 20 debut for a first single by no means guarantees a #1 album.  Lucky for everyone involved, the album sold an impressive 21,358 copies in it's first week, landing Marina her first #1 album.

Marina's debut, The Family Jewels, charted at #5 on the UK Album Chart back in February of 2010.  That album spawned hits like the sarcastically cynical "Hollywood" (peaking at #12), and her international breakthrough single "I Am Not A Robot" (peaking at #26).  The album also featured two of my favorite songs, the Top 40 hit "Oh No!" and "Shampain" (which only managed to hit #141).  How Marina could possibly chart herself in terms of QUALITY was beyond me, but I was excited to hear her try.  

While some might brand her a "sellout" for choosing to go in a decidedly more mainstream dance-pop direction, pairing up with known hitmakers like Greg Kurstin (Lily Allen, Kelly Clarkson) and Dr. Luke (Ke$ha, Katy Perry) - I think it's important for me to reiterate the fact that there's absolutely NOTHING generic about Electra Heart.  Sure, the beats are fast and the bass is bumping, but outshining all of that flashy production is Marina Diamandis, that introspective and often witty songwriting style and last but not least, her effing HUGE-ass voice. You owe it to yourself to buy this album.

In the midst of an international tour, opening for COLDPLAY (Oh...N.B.D.), Marina and The Diamonds has announced a series of dates in the UK, starting June 18th in Norwich.  For a complete list of tour dates, including solo gigs in the UK, U.S. and supporting Coldplay - check out Marina's OFFICIAL SITE

Marina and The Diamonds Electra Heart

Electra Heart is available to download NOW in the UK (iTunes UK) via 679 Artists and is scheduled for release in the U.S. July 10th via Elektra/Atlantic Records.

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