If this is your first time hearing about Marina and the Diamonds you almost certainly don’t live in the U.K. But don’t worry Americanos, you’re not too far out of the loop. I guarantee in no time you’ll be hearing more Marina than you ever could have hoped for. While she still hasn’t hit top-40 playlists in The States, Marina’s pop ditties are polished to perfection, and ripe for the MySpace and Twilight crowds to latch onto with ravenous fury. And I don’t mean any of that in a bad way. I wouldn’t be writing about Marina and the Diamonds if there were a chance I could get her beautiful voice and alluring tunes out of my head.
The only problem with manufacturing songs to such a degree is that they sound, well, awfully manufactured. In the case of “The Family Jewels”, the people doing the manufacturing are the same ones who brought you the music from The O.C., Twilight, and Gossip Girl. Marina’s music is reminiscent of Americans Regina Spektor and Amanda Palmer, and fellow Brits Imogen Heap and Lily Allen. But the music just isn’t as interesting or original as releases by Spektor, Palmer, and Heap. And Marina’s vibe is just a little too serious to pull off that cheeky panache that makes Allen so appealing. The parts of the album that were particularly cringe-inducing were the songs of teen angst and alienation that are now compulsory for any pop album.
If you want a more serious analysis of the problem of authenticity in pop music you really ought to read something more in depth than Indie Shuffle, but I will say that synthetic creations like these have to be a touch more self aware before the music, thoughts, and emotions really start to click.