Melanie Martinez
Cry Baby


4.0
excellent

Review

by fred durst riffs harder than you USER (6 Reviews)
August 22nd, 2015 | 113 replies


Release Date: 2015 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A solid debut with enough creativity to stand out from the rest of the pack.

It’s fair to say that female electro-pop and indie pop artists have enjoyed an explosion of popularity recently, new artists such as Zella Day and Halsey crafting decent debuts within the genre with just enough pop to trouble the charts, and just enough Tumblr worship to sit well within the indie community. The latest to join this roster is Melanie Martinez.

Martinez is a name that may have some familiarity to Americans, having been a contestant on The Voice USA in 2012 and fast becoming a fan favourite. Little was heard from her after her exit from the show until last year when she released her debut EP, Dollhouse, containing the successful singles Carousel, which was used in American Horror Story: Freak Show, and Dollhouse. Both feature again here, and perhaps have greater meaning now they are chronologically ordered within the story. Yes that’s right, this is a concept album, following the eponymous character/ Melanie’s alter-ego, Cry Baby.

According to her wiki, Cry Baby is a fantasy version of Martinez as a child, which may explain some of the rather infantile song titles. These may seem off-putting at first, and one could easily mistake this for an album aimed at children, but this is not the case. Rather they give a sense of ironic darkness, moulding the character’s persona into some sort of twisted, sugar-coated Lolita-style character.

Musically, the core strength of the album is in its singles. The aforementioned Carousel is a slow-paced but dark and hypnotizing waltz that has given rise to the term ‘carnival-pop’, whilst Dollhouse is an energetic and catchy song that revolves around the line ‘I see things that nobody else sees’ and embodies the album as a whole. Lead single Pity Party utilises a sample from Lesley Gore’s 1965 classic ‘It’s My Party’ to create an anthem to anyone who’s held a party only for no-one to turn up, which when you think about it is really rather a depressing subject matter.

The album’s clear highlight though is Soap. A dark and atmospheric track about falling back in love with someone who left you heartbroken, it contains an unexpected drop that can only be described as bubbly. All this combines to create one of the best pop songs this year.

That’s not to say some of the non-singles aren’t great as well. Mrs Potato Head is a late-album gem with the rather cliché message that ‘you look beautiful without make-up/surgery’ but pulling it off exceptionally well. Alphabet Boy sounds almost like a Lana Del Rey B-side in the best possible way, with some of the best lyrics on the album.

However there are areas in which there is room for improvement. There is a small, but noticeable decline in quality later in the album, and some tracks, such as latest single Sippy Cup and Milk and Cookies, are rather dull and uninteresting. In some places there is profanity that just comes off as immature and unnecessary whereas in other tracks it shines, and overall the album can be quite a tough listen, needing a slightly faster pacing to create a more enjoyable listen.

However this is still an excellent and promising debut. Martinez is both a skilled vocalist and lyricist and the production is generally excellent, with some fantastic instrumentals. Certainly a talent to watch out for in the future.

Recommended tracks: Soap, Carousel, Dollhouse, Alphabet Boy, Mrs Potato Head.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
BallsToTheWall
August 22nd 2015


49866 Comments


NEEEEED THIS

Digging: Guild Of Lore - Autumn Macabre

Sinternet
August 22nd 2015


21111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Yes you do.



Whole album is streaming at her official youtube channel.



First review so any constructive criticism is greatly appreciated.

Digging: Vi Som Alskade Varandra Sa Mycket - Det Onda. Det Goda. Det Vackra. Det Fula.

TooLateToGoBack
August 22nd 2015


1979 Comments


Oh hey, I remember her from The Voice.

Nice to see she hit it big.

Supercoolguy64
August 22nd 2015


9145 Comments


my friend got this on cd and just yesterday he was showing me the story book that came with it

Sinternet
August 22nd 2015


21111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The storybook is kinda neat. Can't say her image is my favourite but I know people who love it and people who loathe it so it's rather polarising.

Sinternet
August 22nd 2015


21111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've listened to Soap seven times today I need to stop.

Greyvy
September 6th 2015


5849 Comments


this bitch is cringe. only heard like 3 songs of hers and smh

hobblepot
October 13th 2015


2400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Deluxe version is better, Cake is like my new Jam

hobblepot
October 13th 2015


2400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Sweet review btw, glad to see someone actually wrote about it. Album deserves more attention, needs to be a 3.5 or above

PortraitsOfDecay
October 17th 2015


482 Comments


I can see why people would find her cringe worthy and her image is definitely gimmicky but god damn I'm loving this album so much lately

alienobserver
October 17th 2015


4494 Comments


this bitch is cringe. only heard like 3 songs of hers and smh
[2]

IGetMyMSG
October 17th 2015


104 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

haha. it is easy to hate her image, and i do cringe from time to time, but it's just so well-done

DaveyBoy
Emeritus
October 19th 2015


22489 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

'Crybaby', the debut LP from former 'The Voice' contestant Melanie Martinez, is a dark & ambitious concept album that is very cohesive. The quirky 20 year old New Yorker interestingly uses childlike metaphors for very adult topics, making this a unique, creative & occasionally creepy record. Utilizing multiple producers, there is a cabaret-like theatricality evident here. It's a track or 3 too long & gets a little too repetitive by the end, but there is enough here to differentiate Martinez from the likes of Lana, Lorde, Gaga, et al. It really shouldn't work, but it does. Recommended Tracks: Dollhouse, Mrs. Potato Head, Alphabet Boy & Pity Party.

Sinternet
October 20th 2015


21111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Agreed. I went into this expecting something trashy, boring and cringy like Halsey but I ended up getting a well-executed and insanely catchy/interesting album.

EnyaFangirl
October 23rd 2015


1787 Comments


soap is such a great song wow

her image is pretty off-putting though, agreed

alienobserver
October 23rd 2015


4494 Comments


"Agreed. I went into this expecting something trashy, boring and cringy like Halsey but I ended up getting a well-executed and insanely catchy/interesting album."

she's just held in such high regard by halsey fans so i was skeptical. might check this

Sinternet
October 23rd 2015


21111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Halsey fans are the worst. But yeah give it a try, can't say whether you would enjoy it or not.

Sinternet
October 28th 2015


21111 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

if ur gonna neg an explanation on how i could improve might be nice

LotusFlower
October 31st 2015


12000 Comments


i cant say i was fond of what I was hearing on this, especially that awful Dollhouse song my sister keeps blasting, but I could give it another spin.

hobblepot
October 31st 2015


2400 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

ngl it's sort of worn off on me, but I still play a couple of tracks now and again



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