Marina and the Diamonds sparkle the night at Shepherd’s Bush Empire
Sporting a new platinum blonde hair-do, Marina lived up to her shiningly glamorous image in a doll-like 1950s-inspired prom dress and sparkling sky high-heels at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, on 26th February.
Opening the show with an acoustic version of her hit Radioactive, a ballad about a love that has turned sour, her vocals completely astounded as the strength and intensity of her voice echoed throughout the room. Marina luminously swooped from high to low in an almost operatic fashion, highlighting her mesmerising range and ability.
Having been described as a modern-day Kate Bush, Marina encompasses the same mix of angelic yet eccentric, pure yet unashamedly flamboyant. This combination works perfectly for the Welsh-born pop-star with a twist; her new-wave, quirky sound has provided us with upbeat pop songs that explore darker and more intense subjects than one would expect.
Performing singles from her brand-new album Electra Heart, Marina once again demonstrated her talent for juxtaposing whimsical, jaunty-sounding tracks with much deeper and more shadowy lyrics which explore themes such as love, social standards and how we deal with life’s expectations.
Blaring out songs including Homewrecker, in which Marina chants ‘They call me homewrecker, I’m only happy when I’m on the run, I broke a million hearts just for fun,’ and Primadonna, the first single from the album, it is clear that her new album will follow in Marina’s characteristically effervescent and pop-glam sound with a twisted edge.
A ground-to-air missile of ambitious and confident songs, Electra Heart boasts 12 brand-new self-written tracks with an impressive list of collaborators to write and produce, including the likes of Dr Luke and Rick Nowels who have worked with icons such as Katy Perry and Madonna.
Described as “An ode to dysfunctional love,” Electra Heart has given Marina (in her own words) “a vehicle to portray part of the American dream, with elements of Greek tragedy.”
The album is extremely concept-driven and is tied closely to visual images and artwork to tell a specific story, as Marina declares: “I guess it was a way of dealing with the embarrassment that, for the first time in my life, I got ‘played’. Rejection is a universally embarrassing topic, and Electra Heart is my response to that. It is a frank album.”
Let’s be honest, we can all relate to rejection in some shape or form. This blisteringly honest album deals with so many of the concerns that we all face on a daily basis: love, hate, dishonesty, jealousy and so on. The way that Marina moulds these issues with a typically British eccentricity and dark humour to create solid, melodic pop tracks that make you want to get up and sing along is extremely admirable.
And not only are her tracks great but her reputation for being one the most enthralling performers around is firmly rooted in her incredible performance style and magnificent vocal talent.
I was blown away by Marina and the Diamonds and wish her all the success she deserves.
Primadonna, the first single from Electra Heart, is out on 16th April 2012. Electra Heart is released on 30th April 2012.
To find out more visit Marina and the Diamonds’ official site.
Marina undertakes a full UK tour in May 2012
May 4th MANCHESTER Cathedral http://bit.ly/GaTours
May 5th LIVE AT LEEDS FESTIVAL 0113 245 5570
May 7th EDINBURGH Queens Hall http://bit.ly/GigsinScotland
May 8th GLASGOW ABC 08444 999 990
May 10th LEAMINGTON Assembly Hall 0844 8541358
May 11th BIRMINGHAM Institute http://bit.ly/AltTickets
May 12th SHEFFIELD Leadmill http://bit.ly/LeadMill
May 14th NORWICH Waterfront http://bit.ly/NWaterfront
May 15th CARDIFF Coal Exchange http://bit.ly/KiliLive