Friday, February 26, 2010

Album of the Week: Marina and the Diamonds’ over-the-top Jewels

Marina and the Diamonds: The Family Jewels

I don’t think UK sensation Marina and the Diamonds will achieve the kind of popularity to merit a musical one day, à la ABBA’s Mamma Mia or Queen’s We Will Rock You, but if it happens, The Family Jewels is tailor-made for the stage. Glammy flourishes, vaudevillian piano touches, and then there’s Marina Diamandis’s over-dramatic, high-low voice. It’s no doubt Marina has an excellent pop songwriting touch – it’s why major label Warner snapped her up from indie boutique label Neon Gold – and the Family Jewels is poised for mainstream success somewhere in the range of Florence and Gaga. But it’s the less-Broadway songs, like stripped down “Obsessions” or Enya-ish “Numb,” that impress the most. (For evidence, check out her acoustic rendition of current UK hit “Hollywood” in the video below. Much better.) B+

Marina and the Diamonds: Hollywood (Fenech-Soler Remix) (from RCRD LBL)
from the CD The Family Jewels

And for more new sounds, make sure to subscribe to my latest podcast, JeffMix2010.02.21 (also on iTunes), featuring music from Drive-By Truckers, Los Campesinos!, The Radio Dept., and Jónsi, among others.

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