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Marina and the Diamonds Bat Eyes at Long-Lasting Pop

Posted in MusicWorld on February 17, 2010 by
Photo: Rankin

24-year-old Marina Diamandis is sweeping confidently past pop-glitz pot holes. Far from a one-off wonder or celebrity-starved ingénue, Diamandis is building a lasting career, one infectious, hook-soaked jewel at a time.

The half Welsh, half Greek songbird burst onto the scene in 2009 with the release of Marina and the Diamonds’ first single, “Mowgli’s Road,” a quirky Regina Spektor-meets-Kate Bush mash-up of pure hookiness. Instantly a favorite among DJs and club-goers, Marina used her newfound momentum to steamroll into 2010’s Family Jewels (679/Atlantic). The lead single, “Hollywood,” stands not only as a tongue-in-cheek wink to the glamorized notion of the American dream, but as a fantastic glimpse into what makes Marina so irresistible as a performer: her persona vocalis.

It is this talent—her ability to bend her voice into several seemingly different, yet equally powerful vocal personalities—that sets her, and her music, head and stiletto heels above a sea of would-be contenders for the new princess of pop crown. She doesn’t hide behind fashion or commercialization, but rather, smartly embraces both, confidently navigating the whiplash-inducing pace of contemporary culture.

Her astute lyrical juxtaposition of the value society has ascribed to materialism versus intellect reveals a sharp young singer/songwriter who’s in on the joke, while her honeyed vocal chops ensure that the potentially barbed message goes down smoothly. In short, she’s entertaining, fresh, and most importantly, unforgettable.

“He said, ‘Oh my god you look just like Shakira / Oh no, you’re Catherine Zeta’ / Actually, my name’s Marina,” she sings.

Just try to get it out of your head.