Marina and the Diamonds’ music evolves throughout discography

Music is an extremely emotional art. It can help listeners understand life or make them feel emotions that otherwise can lie dormant; it can help a person get over something such as a relationship gone wrong. The stress of giving something as raw and personal as your emotions to the public for judgment is the life of a musical artist.

Marina Diamandis, known as Marina and the Diamonds, is an artist who puts her soul into her music and has clearly undergone extreme change over the course of her discography. First came “The Family Jewels” (2010) and “Electra Heart” (2012). These two albums have themes of strength and independence.

Throughout all of her music, Diamandis uses empowered and feminist lyrics that define her character. She defies rigid gender-roles of “boys are strong, girls are weak” by inserting herself into roles of dominance that are typically reserved for men. She sings about being a heartbreaker, a prima donna and a homewrecker.

Diamandis’ music video of the song “How to Be a Heartbreaker” exemplifies her persona very well. In the video, she is shown with a group of five or six men who are shown in a very oversexualized way: the camera pans over naked, muscled bodies with water splashing all over them in slow-motion. Diamandis’ image contrasts with these men as she is singing completely clothed. In a lot of music videos, men will dressed in suits or otherwise just completely covered while women will be naked or otherwise scantily clad; additionally they are often presented as props, not characters. I have rarely seen men depicted in the silent roles of docile happiness as they are in Diamandis’ “How to Be a Heartbreaker.”

After her “Lonely Hearts Club Tour” for the album “Electra Heart,” Diamandis announced that the persona she had adopted for the “Electra Heart” album was gone and that she was doing something new. While Diamandis’ confidence and strength will never fade from her character, she delivers her promise. In her newest album, “Froot” (2015), Diamandis’ sound and personality have definitely changed.

In “Froot,” Diamandis assumes a more vulnerable role and seems to be moving from her previously fast and busy lifestyle to one that is more settled. She is becoming more comfortable with being reliant on others.

Marina and the Diamonds’ sound does not shift from the genre of indie-pop but it definitely evolves in “Froot.” There are fewer songs that stick out and the album blends together a bit but this is not necessarily bad. In place of the catchy, limelight-hogging songs that Diamandis is known for are ballads that reveal frank emotion. There has always been a lot of personal emotion in Diamandis’ music because she is always singing about herself: who she is and how she feels. However “Froot” carries a different type of emotion than her previous albums. The mood of “Froot” is something more reflective. There is a tinge of sadness but little regret.

Despite the change in sound, Marina and the Diamonds’ music is still likeable. It is still fun and carries messages of personal strength. I like “Froot” just as much as the older albums because of the multitude of slower songs that showcase the lower range of Diamandis’ vocals. Diamandis’ vocal range is an impressive one and I think that her lower range is particularly beautiful; low-ranged, female voices with musical tact are not something I come across often.

“Happy” is the first track of “Froot” and the relaxed, slow tempo and lingering notes set a tone of quiet satisfaction for the album. Diamandis sings about self-realized happiness while also “living for someone else.” She is realizing that while independence is important it is not mutually exclusive from being able to trust and rely upon others.

This idea is also prevalent in the chorus of “Blue” where she sings “give me love/ give me dreams/ give me a good self-esteem.” Asking for things, especially things that cannot be given like self-esteem, is something new in Diamandis’ music. She has gone from being a demanding girl in her mid-20s to someone realizing that she cannot be so alone forever. This song is probably my favorite off of the album, topping even the single “Froot.” It has a bouncy beat that is very much like the older albums.

The growth and change that Diamandis’ music goes through over the course of her discography is fascinating to watch. The stagnation of an artist is never fun to see and it is important as an entertainer to be in constant motion to keep an audience interested. Marina and the Diamonds’ sound and branding change with the release of “Froot” but it is not so stark of a contrast that she alienates masses of fans. Rather, the evolution of Diamandis’ music shows me that she is capable of change and I, for one, will stick around to see what else she is capable of doing.