The Family Jewels

  • Marina & The Diamonds
  • 679/Atlantic Records
  • 2010-02-22

Abergavenny born Marina Lambrini Diamandis once auditioned for a boy band. She admits freely that she was driven by a passion for fame and fortune. If that is not reason enough to write her off straight away, then I don’t know what is. However, Marina, who performs as Marina & The Diamonds has been hailed as the new Florence & The Machine (sorry Florence, you are just so 2009!) and narrowly lost out to current flavour of the month Ellie Goulding in BBC’s Sound of 2010 poll. So, with everyone else giving the aspiring starlet a second chance, there must be something to talk about, right?

Every track boasts its own distinct flavour.

For once it seems the artist might live up to the hype. Marina isn’t the popstrel she makes out, she may crave fame but she has the talent to justify her craving. Unlike former Welsh flavour of the month Duffy, Marina has more to her than a distinct vocal. Debut album The Family Jewels is a well-constructed, honest effort. From the open admission of “Are You Satisfied?” to the tongue in cheek “Hermit The Frog”, Marina proves her worth as songwriter and artist.
Comparisons to Florence and The Machine are as inevitable as those to Kate Bush, with Marina demonstrating an artistic flair. Yet such correlations are uncalled for. Echoes are evident, but The Family Affairs hails more from the concise pop of the Pet Shop Boys than any of her female predecessors. Marina is aware that no one will ever be able to steal Kate Bush’s crown but nor does she awant to. Marina is defining her own sound and create her own space in the market, she isn’t another artist to be lost in her own PR. She is “Rootless” but far from “Numb”.

The Family Affairs lacks the fillers, with every track boasting its own distinct flavour. Like flicking through an old photo album, the images arouse different emotions and it is Marina’s thought provoking abilities that stand her aside from the crowd. The market may well be over-saturated with a new breed of girl singer-songwriters, but Marina may just be the one who gets the “Shampain” at the end.

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