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Electra Heart

Marina and the Diamonds Audio CD
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: CDN$ 4.71
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Electra Heart + The Family Jewels + Pure Heroine
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Product Description

Product Description

2012 release, the sophomore album from Welsh singer songwriter Marina Lambrini Diamandis AKA Marina & The Diamonds. Electra Heart is not so much a creative leap forward, more an Olympian pole-vault over the bar of talented-newcomer into the global amphitheater of a cultivated Classic. Two years on from her top 5 debut The Family Jewels, the self-styled avant-garde D.I.Y artist has detonated her own experimental past and landed feet first in the future with Electra Heart, a stunningly ambitious, seamless, cohesive and confident sonic pulsar spinning between electro-pop euphoria and come-down melancholia. The album is produced by a cache of old school and A-List producers: Dr Luke (Katy Perry) and Liam Howe (Sneaker Pimps) but mostly ( nine out of 12 songs) Greg Kurstin (Lily Allen, Kylie) and Rick Nowels (Madonna, Stevie Nicks, Lykke Li).

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great CD May 16 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
Love Marina! Her quirky but dead accurate lyrics mixed with a lot of different sounds. You won't find a repeating message or sound on this CD. SO GOOD!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great! March 18 2014
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
what a great singer! love marina and the diamonds

only down side was the case had a small crack in it, but i blame it on the fact it probably got dropped somewhere along the way.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Jan. 6 2013
By Tyler
Format:Audio CD|Verified Purchase
A truly fantastic album. Every song could and should be a smash hit. Can't wait for the next one to come out :)
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The sophomore let-down May 25 2012
Format:Audio CD
Marina has decided to go off on a new tack here and create a concept album about the "rise and fall" (Primadonna) of the "American queen" who is the "American dream" (Hollywood). So basically, the first half is brash and aggressive and ego-driven as Ms. Wonderful battles to the top, the second half is bewildered, bemoaning and despairing as she slides her way down, and "Fear and Loathing" closes things out in resigned but wiser acceptance. So she is deliberately creating her music within the limits of that storyline. And precisely because she is working within limits, I think the music suffers. It's pretty much flashy pop (best exemplified in "Bubblegum Bitch") interspersed with a few more reflective ballads, including what are maybe the two best tracks here, "Lies" and "Valley of the Dolls". But even the latter two are only near-knockouts, whereas just about every track on "The Family Jewels" is a knockout. That's because in her debut album she was not confined to a character but free to be anything and everything (mostly catty and witty and a helluva lot of fun). I'd go so far as to say there is probably more inspired creativity in "Mowgli's Road" alone than in this entire album.

Ironically, what the trouble seems to be is that she really DOES want to be Ms. Wonderful. She has been recorded as saying that she released Primadonna as the British single in a deliberate attempt to change her career, i.e. to BECOME A STAR (or more of one). Hence too the bland dance-pop of "Radioactive", released in the US but not officially part of this album (only on the deluxe version). The blonde dye-job and/or wig seems to be part of this campaign (and I for one don't find the new look flattering at all).

Ah, well, what can you do.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  114 reviews
56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Melancholic Bubblegum Pop May 8 2012
By Mr. C. M. MCCLELLAND - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
As someone who has rather "alternative" taste in female musicians (Björk, Kate Bush, PJ Harvey, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, Regina Spektor, etc), when I first heard "The Family Jewels" back in 2010 I was totally obsessed. The quirky welsh girl who wrote and composed her own songs on her cheap keyboard that she bought from Argos totally captured my imagination and became one of my favourite artists. Her music was the perfect combination of "indie" and pop - and it was a relief to actually have an album of fun pop music that actually had some credibility. It was some of the most beautiful pop music I had ever heard.

In 2011 she surprised us all by releasing the very commercially influenced "Radioactive", and I became rather worried about this next album. When "Primadonna" came out I was relieved. Yes, it was sugary bubblegum pop, but Marina's voice sounded amazing and her pretty quirkiness was back and actually sounded really cool surrounded by the commercial but well produced beats courtesy of Dr Luke. I resisted the urge to write a review straight away, as many other reviewers have, as I wanted to live with the album for a while and know how I felt about it.

The album starts with "Bubblegum Bitch", which sounds like a song from the opening credits from a 90's American teen chick film ("Clueless" springs to mind for me). "Lies" and "Starring Role" are both very currently commercial in their sound, but Marina's lyrics and genuine sounding vocal delivery rescue them from being total sell-outs.

"The State Of Dreaming" starts out sounding like its title - dreamy, ethereal and beautiful, and suddenly explodes into a very poppy, sweet but catchy chorus. "Power and Control" and "Living Dead" use powerful 80's sounding beats and epic choruses and work very well.

A few reviewers have said the second half of the album gets a bit dull, but I think it's where the album really turns into a better, more satisfying direction. "Teen Idle" is atmospheric, dark, and beautifully layered. Those who loved "I Am Not A Robot" and "Numb" from the previous album will be relieved to know that Marina hasn't lost her touch for writing beautiful melancholic pop songs. The lyrics (about a suicidal teenager who wishes she were popular) and production make it quite a dark song, so it's interesting to hear cheerleader chants being used in such an interesting, creative, and actually quite beautiful way - almost as if their presence depresses the "character" singing the song and actually cheer on the fact that she is suicidal.

The final four tracks on the special edition are really good. "Radioactive" sounds really good in context with the rest of the album. "Buy the Stars" is classic Marina - it sounds like "Obsessions" but is actually far more beautiful; silly not be included in the album, but perhaps too similar in style to "The Family Jewels" to be officially included.

What makes this album stand out is Marina's unique vocals, lyrics and melodies, and even the production has a unique edge to it - chirping birds, deep bass lines, and strange electronic effects. It's an interesting mix of sweet and sugary combined with dark melancholia, conjuring up images of Barbie (or some other high profile names in the pop world) on a hangover from alcohol and illegal substances and re-evaluating whether the "glamorous" and pretentious life and relationships she's created for herself are actually making her happy.

There's a lot being said about this album being Marina "selling-out" - do I think it's true? No! The lyrics and vocals sound genuine and are beautifully performed. The songs themselves are wonderfully written - Marina is a wonderfully gifted and clever song writer. This may be a pop album, but it's full of well written songs and lyrical substance to back it up. It may not be the experimental masterpiece that "The Family Jewels" was, but it's a wonderfully melancholic pop album from a wonderful, genuine, and honest artist nonetheless.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and Catchy June 4 2012
By Madeline - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
There are several reviews that already go on at length as to why this album is so awesome---it's quirky, funny, melodic yet edgy, melancholic yet musically upbeat, Marina has a great voice etc etc etc....All these things are true though. For me though, this album is the perfect example of taking mainstreamish beats (enough so that they are instantly catchy) and layering them with rich, textured lyrics and singing. This album is just fun. It's edgy bubblegum pop at its shiniest and brightest.
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Katy Perry meets social commentary & brains... July 12 2012
By Larry Davis - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
Now, I've been a fan & admirer of Welsh lass Marina since "The Family Jewels" was new in the UK in 2010...I am a hardcore Anglophile mind you...and saw her twice in NYC in 2011...and was told she was bigger in the US than the UK...surprised me, as an online cult is not out in the open...when I met her (charming as heck), she said she was recording this album in LA and was immersed in Americana pop culture, working again with The Bird & The Bee's Greg Kurstin (he produced "Oh No!! on TFJ), and was inking to get back there...our Marina was overflowing with ideas, and based on the results...the utterly beguiling "Electra Heart"...it was totally worth the wait.

This is an S-M-A-R-T pop record of the highest order. Using common pop language to communicate her unique outsider Welsh/UK-bred ideas and reflections (funny and sad and ironic) on Americana and pop culture in ways that anyone will understand. Certain songs grab you immediately with an utterly Katy Perry-type of warble she's grown into...if "Primadonna" doesn't remind you of KP and have you thinking it could be her next hit, your ears are clogged...BUT this is not a bad thing!! I do like Katy Perry, she does know what she's doing and "Teenage Dream" is a well crafted pop album, absolutely, but that album is missing an unpredictable, creative quirky intelligence that Marina delivers 100% of the time like on "Primadonna", an amazing pop song...Marina is a smart observant creative type that uses catchy-as-heck pop forms as social commentary...not many people can pull this off well like our heroine can.

What's even cooler is that certain tracks grab you by the collar instantly with their catchy bubblegum-type of approach like the 1st 3 tracks..."Bubblegum B*tch" (I'm sure people like Katy are slapping themselves thinking why didn't I think of that title?? LOL.), "Primadonna" and the gorgeous "Lies", while others reveal their secrets S-L-O-W-L-Y...so she keeps you listening and coming back and finding new favourites, maintaining your interest. Right now, I'm loving "Teen Idle", the US-only "How To Be A Heartbreaker" (such a fun song), and the gorgeous closer "Fear & Loathing" has me amazed (Marina's spectral dramatic delivery may remind some of Florence Welch which I hear too but more pop and even a drop of Regina Spektor like on TFJ's "I Am Not A Robot")..."Valley Of The Dolls" is another favourite. As another reviewer said, "Electra Heart" IS indeed cinematic, which is amazingly cool. I hope this record wins awards and garners her a bigger US audience...it is coming from what I found out.

This US edition is better than the UK regular...it did remove "Living Dead"...I'm sure you can find the track online, or Elektra in America (is there a more apt label for this record?? I don't think so.) will have this song on a soundtrack in the future...and adds 3 songs in its place...the amazing gleefully fun "How To Be A Heartbreaker", and 2 tracks (out of 4) from the UK deluxe...the original 1st single "Radioactive"...I love that song, don't see why it was left off the UK regular, weird...and "Sex Yeah", which is cool commentary on relationships. And the track order is satisfying because the 2nd half is not all slower songs...it mixes things up more.

All in all, I am THRILLED with this record, and word is indeed spreading about "Electra Heart"...a triumph indeed...and Marina deserves everything coming her way...it already hit #1 in the UK & Ireland...we'll see if she follows her fellow UK labelmate in the US, Ed Sheeran into the US Top 5...I'd be pleasantly shocked if she does, but this will debut high from the buzz...it is selling out in various stores.

Go Marina!!! Well done!!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My head sounds like that Sept. 22 2012
By Ethan Straffin - Published on Amazon.com
So this is one of those times when I wish I could grant four and a half stars. On the one hand, there's just no way that this sophomore album is as good as the first. On the other hand, "The Family Jewels" towers majestically above every other pop album of 2010 as far as I'm concerned, so docking "Electra Heart" a full star on that basis alone really wouldn't be fair.

In the end, I had to go with the five stars, because even a Marina who's toned down the quirkiness in pursuit of mass dance-pop appeal makes me extremely happy. Fellow Diamonds will argue that she's being *ironic*, and while I might respond pedantically that she's also trying to have her cake and eat it too on that front: the fact remains that cake is good, and if any pop singer can get away with not having to choose one or the other, that pop singer might just have to be Marina Diamandis.

Potential buyers should note that there are a few different physical and digital releases of "Electra Heart." For the most part, you'll be good to go with the U.S. standard edition, which removes one track ("Living Dead") from the U.K. standard edition but adds three others: "Radioactive" (a promo single which I find extremely disposable, but YMMV), "How to Be a Heartbreaker" (a much stronger single which wasn't ready in time for the U.K. editions), and "Sex Yeah" (the best of three B-sides from the U.K. deluxe edition, with its feminist musings and a playful pinch of Marina's trademark self-deprecation: "Question what the TV tells you / Question what a pop star sells you / Question Mom and question Dad / Question good and question bad"). If you like what you hear, though, I recommend tracking down "Living Dead" on one of those Other Music Services, along with "Lonely Hearts Club" and "Buy the Stars" from the U.K. deluxe edition, because they're all solid songs.

I decided to name this review after a song that Peter Gabriel wrote a while back, because Marina has joined Gabriel himself in a fairly small circle of artists whose head (and heart) sounds enough like mine for the effect to be joyous bordering on a little bit creepy. She's smart, she's funny, she writes lethal hooks...game, set, match.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Power & Control May 14 2012
By Zkk - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
I have been listening to this album for about 3 weeks, and it doesn't cease to blow me away. I'm in love with Marina & the Diamonds again! The Family Jewels was an amazing album, but now she's blown me away again. Just about every track is amazing in it's own right, each telling it's own story of a power struggle between yourself & the person people want you to be. The album as a whole comes full circle and tells one amazing story of the journey of a girl named Electra Heart. Fear & Loathing is the perfect closing song for an album like this, you need to experience it to believe it. WOW, just wow Marina! Thank you! <3
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