Review Summary: If I could buy forever at a price, I would buy it Thrice

Just to get some of the obvious items out of the way first: YES, the concept behind Electra Heart was stupid. NO, that condemnation of concept did not render the album a turd (not even lyrically), although... YES, deep down, the electro-pop thing felt a bit forced, and more like some carefully orchestrated strike at the successes of many of Marina's so-called contemporaries (and one that, from a U.S. charting perspective, whiffed). But, alas... NO, reducing Electra Heart to that would be to suggest that it is devoid of genuine tenderness and musical affectivity. I mean, "Lies" still breaks me down every time I hear it (and that acoustic version" pfsh...), and "Starring Role" and "Hypocrates" have the smae effect.

Electra Heart went in hard on the fleeting mania of its concept, and maybe it burned out pretty fast, but the core of it will live considerably longer.

The kicker here is that, despite all the conflict you may read into that first paragraph up there, Froot, an album stripped of all the excesses of Electra Heart and the equal-parts-guarded-and-grandiose introduction that characterized The Family Jewels, is actually Marina's hardest to assess. That is to say: an album from her, chock full of unadulterated musings on life, love, lust, regret, and happiness (you know, real-life things that real people need pop songs to cover) is much more difficult to contextualize when you're hearing them for the first time, or in a new light. I have been writing this review in my head over and over again for about a month, and have scrobbled the shit out of Froot by now. I took it across the country on a drive with my sister, and I’ve been taking it to work with me just about every day. I have been racking my brain trying to place it between her previous two albums (just as every other review has done by now) and I really can’t.

So, basically, I give up. I'm not even going to try. If you know Marina's previous work and are looking for a bright-line rule as to which album this is closer to, then tough shit, because I can't even give you that.

The title track on Froot is easily the most infectious, saccharine offering on the new album, and one of Marina's best songs yet. Looking back on it now ("Froot" had been released as the record’s introductory single, back in November of last year) it really was an inspired choice. Lyrically, this song is as weird as anything she’s done, playing the chosen metaphor to its grisly conclusion (in a manner that should now be familiar to Marina's fanbase). Musically though, the song’s sweeping choruses function to unwind, in each instance, the tight-laced verses they succeed, and the song progresses along quite nicely. This effect is actually harder to describe than it is to just invoke "Radioactive," (probably my favorite Marina track, which now has a sonic successor). Both songs are that rare kind of repetitive -- the kind where the numb, prolonged absence of viscera ends up having a more powerful effect by the time the song ends.

Notwithstanding the entire paragraph preceding this one, "Forget" is actually my favorite track on the record. The song, stylistically, would sit comfortably on her debut, for as she is re-introduced to a backing band, we re-discover just what she used to do with one (think "The Outsider"). The also-great "Weeds," a similar treatise on the messy, uncontrollable impressions we leave on one another, and "Better Than That" both recall that style in essentially the same fashion.

There is palpable growth beyond the nostalgia, though, which is a nice surprise. I had predicted a full-on retreat, actually, and had been expecting Jewels: Part II. Instead, I find myself welcoming the more tempered approach she has taken on much of Froot. Blending the light touch of her backing band with selectively applied electronic elements, Marina gives a more refined take on songs that in her past might have been layered in obtrusive electropop production or overwhelming string arrangements. See "Blue" and "Gold" for good examples of this-- two songs that would feel out of place on Jewels.

Marina's vocal range has always been one of the most important things about her work, and this album, like its two predecessors, showcases its brilliance. In the end, the only thing that changes is the mechanism in which it's dressed, and that seems to fragment audiences in a manner I cannot say I completely understand. What is new, though, in the case of Froot, is that it feels like Marina let the natural power of what's going on--in her life, in her bed, and in her mind--speak for itself.




Recent reviews by this author
Hop Along Bark Your Head Off, DogBanks The Altar
Thrice To Be Everywhere Is to Be NowhereAgainst The Current In Our Bones
Atreyu Long LiveFalling in Reverse Just Like You
user ratings (200)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
DropdeadWHA (4.5)
No longer Numb. No longer living in Fear and Loathing. She's simply Happy....

brandontaylor (3.5)
Froot is good, but ultimately not as full-flavoured as Marina's first two efforts....



Comments:Add a Comment 
theacademy
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2015


31371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.9

took my sweet time with this one

wwf
March 30th 2015


6170 Comments


Second to last sentence in the first paragraph has a typo... 'smae'

Digging: Illuminati Hotties - Kiss Yr Frenemies

JohnnyOnTheSpot
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2015


6676 Comments


that's not a typo :x

tempest--
March 30th 2015


20626 Comments


the more I listen to this the more and more I love it

Gyromania
March 30th 2015


25937 Comments


you're awesome, acad

Gyromania
March 30th 2015


25937 Comments


not a lot of people enjoyed electra heart but i thought it was great

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2015


31371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.9

thanks gyro



i really cant even rank them, really, which is weird b/c i rank everything



I can prob rank songs individually, and top 2 songs are on electra heart

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2015


31371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.9

also sup johnny tempest wwf hope u r all having a good time much love

Gyromania
March 30th 2015


25937 Comments


is fear and loathing one of them? that's one of my faves

Tunaboy45
March 30th 2015


16586 Comments


sweet review acad

klap
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2015


11979 Comments


v based

wtferrothorn
March 30th 2015


5798 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

It sucks that this album came out during the Kendrick storm; didn't get the attention it deserved here. Great review, acad!

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2015


31371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.9

nice death shall rise reference bro



woulda come off more casual if u didnt name the band tho (id surmise that everyone here knows cancer)



theacademy
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2015


31371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.9

Ok off to go jam Metallica - Re:Load

Tunaboy45
March 30th 2015


16586 Comments


I literally haven't heard anything from her other than Hollywood, yes I know I'm a terrible person.

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
March 30th 2015


31371 Comments

Album Rating: 4.9

Hollywood infected ur brain

GnarlyShillelagh
Emeritus
March 31st 2015


6385 Comments


does this sound like thrice

Snake.
March 31st 2015


21067 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

is that aubrey plaza

Digging: Daughters - You Won't Get What You Want

ZackSh33
March 31st 2015


680 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Hollywood infected ur brain [2]

TheEnigma
March 31st 2015


748 Comments


Enjoyed reading your review. Took me a couple of listens before I could really get into the album - I personally don't think it measures up to Electra Heart or Family Jewels, but a good album nonetheless. Favorites tracks: 'Savages' and 'Immortal'. Title track is actually my least favorite.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2017 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy