Marina Lambrini Diamandis (born 10 October, 1985), also known by her former stage name Marina & the Diamonds (yes, it's just one person) as well as MARINA, is a Welsh singer-songwriter. Signed to 679 Recordings, she released her debut album, The Family Jewels in Febuary 2010, and has followed this with several more — see below. Her musical style ranges from keyboard-based ballads to more up-tempo New Wave-style songs with full band backing.
Her former stage name, "Marina & the Diamonds", consists of Marina's first name and the translation of her surname which means "Diamonds" in Greek. Although "The Diamonds" was often mistakenly believed to refer to her backing band, it in fact referred to Marina's fans: she explained this on her MySpace page by saying "I'm Marina. You are the diamonds." Prior to the release of her 2019 double album Love + Fear, however, she changed her stage name in all her social media to MARINA.
The highly cinematic, (in her own words) "pop opera" Electra Heart (2012) has its own page. Tropes specific to the album belong there.
- Mermaid VS Sailor (2007)
- The Family Jewels (2010)
- Electra Heart (2012)
- Froot (2015)
- Love + Fear (2019, double album, the first released as MARINA)
- Love + Fear (Acoustic) (2019; contains acoustic versions of five songs that originally appeared on Love + Fear)
- "About Love" (2020; single from the soundtrack of To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You)
- Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land (2021)
- Alice Allusion: "Forget" mentions "Chasing rabbits down a hole."
- All Just a Dream: The entire music video of "Shampain", possibly triggered by eating a burger.
- All Take and No Give: The narrator of "Blue" is the taker. She demands:Gimme love, gimme dreams, gimme a good self esteem
Gimme good and pure, what you waiting for?
Gimme everything, all your heart can bring
Something good and true
I don't wanna feel blue anymore
- As she's broken up with the subject of the song, openly admits that she doesn't love him and doesn't care, she doesn't give anything in return.
- Author Appeal: Feminism, romance and sex — in an ironic way.
- Badass Boast:
- Be Yourself: "True," among other songs.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: Who her ex is dating in "Better Than That":She's the apple of everybody's eye / With an angel voice, devil in disguise
- Bittersweet 17: "Seventeen".
- Bluebird of Happiness: Mentioned in "Handmade Heaven."But in this handmade heaven, I come alive
Bluebirds forever color the sky
- Break Up Song: Froot and Ancient Dreams in A Modern Land possess a number of such song including "Blue", "I'm A Ruin", "I Love You But I Love Me More" and "Flowers".
- "Goodbye" plays with the trope in that she is breaking up with her past self, thanking her for the time they've spent together but that she needs to evolve and move on.
- Broken Ace: "Are You Satisfied?" seems to be about a successful person finally breaking under the pressure and wondering if they'd be happier if they were average.
- But Liquor Is Quicker: name-dropped in E.V.O.L:Candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker.
Every kiss you give me makes me sicker.
- Celebrity Resemblance: In the song "Hollywood," she talks about being mistaken for Shakira (at least in Shakira's younger years) and Catherine Zeta-Jones.She said, Oh my god! You look just like Shakira!
No, no, youre Catherine Zeta!
Actually, my names Marina
- 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...
- 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.
- The Dog Bites Back: "No More Suckers", a song about cutting off those taking advantage of her.
- Downer Ending: Marina seems fond of these:
- The U.S. edition of The Family Jewels ends with "Numb", a heartbreaking song about the true cost of fame.
- 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.
- "Soft to Be Strong" averts this in Love + Fear. Despite being the final song in the Fear section the theme is about allowing yourself to be vulnerable in order for love to prevail.
- Driven to Suicide: "Living Dead" and "Teen Idle". Electra Heart herself commits suicide by the end of the album.
- Drowning My Sorrows: "Shampain".Drinking champagne to forget yesterday
- "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, and is also noticeable on a few songs from Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land.
- "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:
- 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.
- Flames of Love: "Starlight". Old loves are described as burned-out stars; you can still see their light even though the star has been dead a long time.Stars and love burn bright,
Till theyre ready to die
- Foreign Culture Fetish: American pop culture. "Hollywood" from The Family Jewels (2010) hints at this; Electra Heart was a fully fledged ode to her fascination with the USA.
- 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: "Savages" is about the animalistic nature of humans.Another day, another tale of rape
Another ticking bomb to bury deep and detonate
I'm not the only one who finds it hard to understand
I'm not afraid of God
I'm afraid of Man
- Humans Are Flawed:
- "Savages" is the contemplation of Humans Are Bastards vs. Humans Are Flawed. She leans more towards the former but still asks, "Is it a human trait, or is it learned behaviour?" and says, "we can be bad as we can be good."
- "To Be Human":All the people living in, living in the world today
We're united by our love, we're united by our pain
- Hypocrite: In "Savages," Marina accuses humanity as a whole of this: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. Enforced in 2019 with the change of name to Marina only.
- 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
- Inferiority Superiority Complex: "Oh No!":I feel like I'm the worst, so I always act like I'm the best.
- The Insomniac: In "Shampain":I wonder when the night will reach its end
The sleep is not my friend.
- Intercourse with You:
- International Pop Song English: An aversion. Her accent is very prominent across her four records.
- Irony: The second verse of "Man's World" comments on the well-known vivid pink Beverly Hills Hotel◊, known for hosting Marilyn Monroe, being owned by the notoriously anti-gay Sultan of Brunei.
- "I Want" Song: "Immortal" is about wanting to be, well, immortal.
- The Lad-ette: The narrator of "Girls", which is mostly a Take That! against shallow femininity.Look like a girl but I think like a guy
- Like Parent, Like Spouse: "Starring Role" bitterly says, "You're like my dad / You'd get on well."
- Lighter and Softer:
- Froot is noticeably more cheerful than Electra Heart, but a key song to note is Handmade Heaven, the first single from Love + Fear, in which Marina enjoys the comfort and security of herself and the refuge she's able to take in herself when the outside world is fearsome and confusing.
- The Love half of Love + Fear contains some genuinely happy songs, such as Orange Trees, Superstar, and Enjoy Your Life.
- Lonely at the Top: The main message of "Numb" from The Family JewelsForego family, forego friends
That's how it started, how it ends
I get dark just to
Looking for the golden lie
Oh, it's a reasonable sacrifice
- 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.
- "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"
- Midas Touch: "Gold" says, "You can't take away the Midas' touch."
- Misery Builds Character: "Forget."'Cause in the end, the road is long
But only 'cause it makes you strong
It's filled with peaks and twists and turns
Sometimes you have to learn to forget about it
- Money Song: "Gold."Yeah, I know that I need the gold / But what I love can't be bought or sold
- 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.
- New Sound Album:
- The Family Jewels was a 80's throwback.
- For Electra Heart, Marina took it down-tempo and into more mainstream dance and synth-pop with minor dubstep influences.
- Froot saw Marina bring the 80's new-wave and piano ballads back.
- Love + Fear pivoted back to a sound reflecting the late 10's, with her partner at the time (Clean Bandit's Jack Patterson) involved with writing and producing the album.
- 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.
- One-Woman Wail: She does it at the end of "Savages."
- Other Common Music Video Concepts: The Making of the Video: "Venus Fly Trap" parodies this with Marina as a 60's popstar (the "New Wave Woman" named in the video) being filmed by the same monster that was terrorising her in a hospital in another scene.
- Parental Issues:
- "Bad Kidz".
- "Scab and Plaster".
- "Starring Role".You're like my dad
You'd get on well
I'll send my best
Regards from hell
- "Buy The Stars" is about an over-controlling father who pushes his daughter from a young age into things she doesn't want to do.
- "Mermaid vs. Sailor".
- "The Family Jewels" (song).
- Pep-Talk Song: "Enjoy Your Life", "Venus Fly Trap"
- The Power of Love: "Immortal" says that love is the only thing that transcends death and the end of the world.
- Precision F-Strike:
- "Can't Pin Me Down."You can't call my bluff
Time to back off, motherfucker
- "Seventeen":I felt you question the way I was brought up as a baby
Well, you don't know fuck about my family
- "Can't Pin Me Down."
- Protest Song: Marina's songs sometimes include large elements of sociopolitical protest, if not in the traditional style of protest songs. For example, "Man's World" (from Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land) declares:Mother Nature's dying
Nobody's keeping score
I don't wanna live in a man's world anymore
- Pun-Based Title:
- The Family Jewels. Her family name is a kind of jewel.
- "Hermit the Frog"
- "Miss Y"
- "Teen Idle"
- Questioning Title?: "Are You Satisfied?"
- Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: "Girls" has a lot of this.
- Revenge Ballad: "Just Desserts", a collaboration with Charli XCX, about getting revenge on a lover for an unspecified offence.Karma came around like I knew it would
Like I knew it would
And it feels so good when the shoe is put
On the other foot
- Rock Star Song:
- "Buy The Stars", "Hollywood", "Are You Satisfied?", "Girls", "Valley of the Dolls", "Teen Idle", "Primadonna", "State of Dreaming", "Bubblegum Bitch", "Venus Fly Trap" and possibly more, due to Marina being fond of this trope.
- Subverted with "Superstar", it's actually more a Silly Love Song where Marina is praising the connection between herself and her partner.
- "Gold" mentions El Dorado and Midas Touch.
- 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.
- "Purge the Poison" makes three such shouts to Britney Spears, Harvey Weinstein and the Me Too movement in the second verse alone.
- Stepford Smiler:
- "Are You Satisfied?"One life pretending to be / The cat who got the cream
And it's my problem if I have no friends / And feel I want to die
- The narrator of "Oh No!"
- "Are You Satisfied?"
- Take That!:
- "Savages" is one to all of humanity and how it acts like it is any better than animals.
- "New America" is one to the seedier side of the United States and pointing out the social issues the country is struggling to come to terms with.
- There's No Place Like Home: "Orange Trees"
- Three Minutes of Writhing: 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.
- 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.
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: "Bad Kidz" and "Starstrukk."
- Yandere: 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.