fangirlsontop asked: What's your opinion on Electra Heart? I remember that you liked The Family Jewels (actually, you were the one who introduced me to Marina!) so I was curious for your take on her new album.
There’s so much to unpack in Electra Heart: as a pop album, it’s a brilliant piece of collaboration, taking bits and pieces from producers like Dr. Luke and constructing a broad homage to the earnest hearts of small-town, big-dream American girls everywhere. Some people might have a problem with her association with such big names, but I think her spin on each of the glossy productions never strays far from the same nihilism that runs through The Family Jewels. It reminds me a little of Luke’s work on Katy Perry’s Teenage Dream, where every song is bubbling with some sort of fundamental sadness. But where the songs were appropriated by kids everywhere as party anthems, Marina’s songs are more private, more internal, the type of songs better played through headphones or in a room, alone.
Lyrically, it’s just so self-defeated: “Starring Role” wallows in its unhappiness, “Teen Idle” acknowledges its inertia without any plans to get out of bed, “Power and Control” tries to reclaim supremacy in a relationship, even as it expresses a distaste for a never ending game where the winner is the one who cares less… The songs can start to seem a little petulant, not unlike their sometimes whiny, spoiled speaker, but I get the sense it’s not something that was unplanned. It’s an album that looks for sympathy as it ignores it when offered.
Marina has a bit of fascination with Americana and fabled glamour, something captured in bits and pieces on her first album, here taken to the extreme. It’s like a teenage girl’s diary or scrapbook or Facebook page or tumblr, generation after generation of desiring myths, people as reinvented characters, fabrications packaged as worthy dreams, and it’s as gloomy as that sounds. I kind of love it.
Thanks for the question, awesome to hear from you!