Music / Marina & the Diamonds

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Soda pop, soda pop, baby, here I come,
Straight to number one.
— "Bubblegum Bitch"

Marina Lambrini Diamandis (born 10 October, 1985), better known by her stage name Marina & the Diamonds (yes, it's just one person), is a Welsh singer-songwriter. Signed to 679 Recordings, she released her debut album, The Family Jewels in Febuary 2010, her second, Electra Heart, in April 2012, and her third, Froot, in March 2015. Electra Heart went to #1 in the UK and Ireland.

Her stage name, "Marina & the Diamonds", consists of Diamandis' first name and the translation of her surname which means "Diamonds" in Greek. Although "The Diamonds" is often mistakenly believed to refer to her backing band, it in fact refers to Diamandis' fans: she explains this on her Myspace page by saying "I'm Marina. You are the diamonds."

Diamandis' musical style ranges from keyboard-based ballads to more up-tempo New Wave-style songs with full band backing.

Discography

  • Mermaid VS Sailor (2007)
  • The Family Jewels (2010)
  • Electra Heart (2012)
  • Froot (2015)

Tropes

  • Album Title Drop: In "Bubblegum Bitch":
    "Welcome to the life of Electra Heart!"
  • All Just a Dream: The entire music video of "Shampain", possibly triggered by eating a burger.
  • Alter-Ego Acting: One of the major themes of "Electra Heart" is the Archetypes: Su-Barbie-A, Homewrecker, Primadonna, and Teen Idle. Marina assumes these personas throughout the album as she explore the negative aspects of each. The last track, "Fear and Loathing", discusses the trope the most, with lines like, "Got different people inside my head / I wonder which one that they like best."
  • Ambition Is Evil: Word of God says that "Electra" is her meditation on the negative effects of fame and fortune.
  • Anti-Love Song: "Electra Heart" is based on the assumption that girls who are massive bitches rarely get hurt in love.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "Teen Idle" has this line, "I want blood, guts, and chocolate cake." The "chocolate cake" bit is changed to "angel cake" later in the song, but the trope still stands.
  • Author Appeal: Feminism, romance and sex — in an ironic way.
  • Badass Boast:
    • "Bubblegum Bitch":
      I'll chew you up and I'll spit you out
      'Cause that's what young love is all about
      So pull me closer and kiss me hard
      I'm gonna pop your bubblegum heart
    • "Can't Pin Me Down" is an extended boast that no one can make her less than what she is.
      You can't call my bluff
      Time to back off, motherfucker.
  • Be Yourself: "Hypocrates".
  • Break Up Song: "Lies" and "Homewrecker" and "I'm A Ruin"; many other songs on Froot.
  • Broken Ace: A recurring theme in in her second album.
  • The Casanova: Female version in both "Homewrecker" and "How To Be A Heartbreaker".
  • Character-Magnetic Team / Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: "I Am Not A Robot"
    You've been hanging with the unloved kids
    Who you never really liked and you never trusted
    But you are so magnetic, you pick up all the pins...
  • Concept Album: Electra Heart is about different facets of the female psyche, told through the perspective of a lonely teenage girl (who is clearly seriously mentally ill and suicidal).
  • Dark Reprise: The songs on Electra Heart aren't very lyrically upbeat to begin with, but the acoustic versions could be considered the Dark Reprise of the original ones. "Lies" is the best example of this, as the more upbeat pop version can be considered a kind of 'moving on' song, while the acoustic version sounds like hurt, bitterness and ongoing agony.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Family Jewels had some somber lyrics, but generally wasn't that dark, and even a little silly at times. Electra Heart is much darker and more ironic, touching on themes of heartbreak, denial, loneliness, and despair. Froot, by contrast, is more just Hotter and Sexier.
  • Destructive Romance: One of her favorite tropes, showing up in a lot of her songs.
  • Downer Ending: Marina seems fond of these:
    • The Electra Heart era ended with the titular persona's death.
    • Froot goes through many stages of a breakup, but ends with "Immortal", which is emotionally crushing.
  • Driven to Suicide: "Living Dead" and "Teen Idle". Electra Heart herself commits suicide by the end of the album.
  • Dying Alone: Feared in "Teen Idle":
    I wish I wasn't such a narcissist
    I wish I didn't really kiss
    The mirror when I'm on my own
    Oh God, I'm gonna die alone.
  • Eagleland:
    • "Hollywood" is a satire of the American Dream. As Marina puts it, "I'm obsessed with the mess that is America!" The music video has a lot of typical American imagery, and the song refers to the Eagleland Osmosis effect:
      Hollywood infected your brain
      You wanted kissing in the rain
    • Commentary on the theme is also the crux of her "Electra Heart" persona.
  • Evil Is Easy: "Homewrecker":
    The good are never easy, the easy never good
  • Fangirl: Britney Spears was Marina's muse for Electra Heart.
    "Britney Spears is a big influence. Huge. I think people thought I was joking about that for a long time. But when I was a teenager there was a genuine connection with this sweet girl who also had this very sexual side that people didn't really want to accept. Oh my God! And it was her idea! This is the thing — Britney is really smart. And in the way that she inspired "Electra Heart," if you step back from all the cynical stuff, it actually focuses on the idea of innocence being mixed with darkness. For some reason I really like that combination. I suppose because you don't really connect innocence with darkness."
  • Femme Fatale: Who her ex is dating in "Better Than That":
    She's the apple of everybody's eye
    With an angel voice, devil in disguise
  • For the Evulz:
    They call me homewrecker, homewrecker, I broke a million hearts just for fun...
  • Friends with Benefits: "Lies" and "Starring Role"
  • Hates Being Alone: "Blue":
    No, I don't love you
    No, I don't care
    I just want to be held when I'm scared.
  • Hope Spot: "Fear and Loathing" in Electra Heart.
  • Humans Are Bastards: Explicitly stated in "Savages":
    Underneath it all, we're just savages
    Hidden behind shirts, ties and marriages
  • I Am the Band: There's no band. Marina is a solo artist. The "Diamonds" are her fans.
  • Immortality Seeker: "Immortal" is a melancholy reflection on the human desire for immortality in some form, and the futility of pursuing it. Maybe love achieves immortality in a way, but what good does that do anybody?
    I'm forever chasing after time
    But everybody dies, dies
    If I could buy forever at a price
    I would buy it twice, twice
    But if the earth ends in fire
    And the seas are frozen in time
    There'll be just one survivor
    The memory that I was yours
    And you were mine...
  • Inferiority Superiority Complex: "Oh No!":
    I feel like I'm the worst, so I always act like I'm the best.
  • Insult Backfire: "Homewrecker".
  • Intercourse with You:
    • "Froot". Marina is also very welcoming for it.
    • In "Blue" she wants to "do it one last time."
  • The Lad-ette: The personality Marina assumes in "Girls", which is mostly a Take That! against shallow femininity.
  • Lonely at the Top: A moral to take away from Electra Heart.
  • Love Martyr: "Lies":
    I don't want to admit that we're not gonna fit
    No, I'm not the type that you like, why don't we just pretend?
    • Also "Starring Role".
    You don't love me
    Big fucking deal
    I'll never tell you how I feel...
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • "Oh No!" sounds like a happy New Wave song, but is lyrically about Marina becoming the very person she loathes to be— a Stepford Smiler pop star.
    • Any of the more uptempo songs on Electra Heart ("Bubblegum Bitch", "Primadonna", "How to Be a Heartbreaker", "Radioactive") are lighter in music while hosting dark, ironic lyrics.
    • "Blue," a happy, funky-sounding song with lyrics surrounding a harsh breakup and regrets over ending the relationship.
    • On the other hand, "Happy", the opener track on "Froot", is a slow piano ballad written in a minor key, and is easily one of the happiest songs Marina has ever recorded.
  • Lyrical Tic: The chorus of "I'm a Ruin": "YEEEEAAAAHHHHH UHHH HUUHHHHH OHHH HHOOOOOO YEEEEAAAHHHH"
  • Madonna–Whore Complex: Discussed in "Teen Idle". I wanna be a virgin pure, 21st century whore...
    "It's like a formula that no one can refuse. I remember seeing an interview with Madonna in the '80s and she was talking about how everyone is so attracted to the whole virgin/whore complex. And that is exactly Britney — she mixed those elements so perfectly."
  • Madness Mantra: "Lights, they blind me" has become the defining phrase of the Electra Heart era, the last video of which has Electra repeating the phrase over and over to herself until it's the last thing she says. Taken Up to Eleven on the horror scale when you realise she's essentially dying by this point.
  • Ms. Fanservice: The video to "Froot" has Marina dressed as a Golden Age of Hollywood actress, quite similar to Rita Hayworth. The fans were very impressed.
  • The Muse: Britney Spears inspired the Electra Heart project.
  • New Sound Album: The Family Jewels was a 80's throwback. For Electra Heart, Marina took it down-tempo and into more mainstream pop. Froot is somewhere in between.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Mowgli's Road". The song is about being conflicted over which path to take, much like how Mowgli from The Jungle Book has to decide if he would rather stay in the jungle with his animal companions or join his fellow humans.
  • Ode to Intoxication: "Shampain", of the sarcastic variety, as indicated by the punny title.
  • Parental Issues:
    • "Bad Kidz".
    • "Scab and Plaster".
  • Pun-Based Title:
    • The Family Jewels. Her family name is a kind of jewel.
    • "Shampain"
  • Precision F-Strike: In "Can't Pin Me Down."
    • And again in "Seventeen":
      I felt you question the way I was brought up as a baby
      Well, you don't know fuck about my family.
    • "E.V.O.L"
  • Pun-Based Title: "Shampain" and "Hermit the Frog".
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: "Girls" has a lot of this.
  • Recap Episode: The music video for "Electra Heart", the final part of the music video series for the eponymous album. It also symbolizes how Electra's life went by before "dying" as Marina ended promotion at the same time for the album with a tweet saying "Goodbye, Electra Heart!".
  • Rich Bitch: Embraced in Electra Heart.
    "Electra Heart is based on the assumption that girls who are massive bitches rarely get hurt in love".
  • Rock Star Song: "Buy The Stars", "Hollywood", "Are You Satisfied?", "Girls", "Valley of the Dolls", "Teen Idle", "Primadonna", "State of Dreaming", "Bubblegum Bitch" and possibly more, due to Marina being fond of this trope.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Dear Diary" and "Soda Pop" by Britney Spears get a shout out in "Bubblegum Bitch".
    • In E.V.O.L, Marina mentions her Romeo — and how she wants to be a suicide blonde.
    • It may be unintentional, or just a pervasive image, but "Immortal" appears to borrow a motif from Robert Frost's "Fire and Ice". Frost's poem opens "Some say the world will end in fire/Some say in ice"; the song has the lines "But if the earth ends in fire/And the seas are frozen in time" — and both are reflections on human emotions in the face of mortality.
  • The Sociopath: Marina appears to think that the single-minded pursuit of success is sociopathic — or at least that it pushes people that way.
    Don't do love, don't do friends
    I'm only after success
    Don't need a relationship
    I'll never soften my grip
    — "Oh No!"
  • Split Personality: A major theme on Electra Heart, especially the song "Fear and Loathing".
    I've lived a lot of different lives, been different people many times...
    Got different people inside my head, I wonder which one they like best...
  • Spoiled Brat: The lyrics in "Primadonna" sound like as if it where based off the thoughts of a Bratty Teenage Daughter with lots of cash and way too much popularity.
  • Spoiled Sweet: Considering Electra Heart is basically about Britney Spears and she's a sweetheart, it applies.
  • Spoken Word in Music: The verses in "Homewrecker".
  • Stepford Smiler: "Starring Role", "Lies"... much of Electra Heart, really. And "Oh No!" as well.
  • Take That!:
    • "Sex Yeah" criticizes how women tend to be oversexualized by history and the media, and how it impedes women from embracing their sexuality as they want to.
    • "Savages" is one to all of humanity and how it acts like it is any better than animals.
  • Three Minutes of Writhing:
    • Genderflipped/parodied with the video for "How to Be a Heartbreaker". It's common to see music videos featuring a clothed male artist and scantily clad female dancers, but this video surrounds a clothed Marina with men in Speedos.
    • A number of Marina's other videos invoke but then subvert the trope by featuring mostly Marina singing and dancing — in strange costumes and wigs and odd locations, with at least hints of dark or tragic plotlines.
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    Boys and their toys and their six-inch rockets...
  • Villain Song: Several songs on Electra Heart, particularly "Bubblegum Bitch", "Homewrecker" and "Radioactive".
  • Visual Pun: In the music video for "Oh No!", while Marina is singing "I just wanna change" repeatedly, a line of coins briefly pop up.
  • Woman Scorned: Most of Electra Heart, as she has mentioned in a few interviews that one of the main themes is rejection.
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: "Bad Kidz".
  • Yandere:
    • Of the possessive kind in "Starring Role".
    • A rather strange case with "Better Than That", in which Marina is mad that her ex has lowered themselves to someone beneath them. However unlike most songs in this vein it subverts the slut-shaming mindset.
  • Your Cheating Heart: "Homewrecker" is a little unusual as being a Villain Song sung from the perspective of a compulsive heartbreaker, explaining (if not excusing) her way of thinking. Or perhaps it's just the song of a desperate wannabe Femme Fatale.

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