2010, like every other year I spent in high school, was rough for me. I was a 300 pound 15 year in old 11th grade and being the ahead of my time genius that I was, found it hard to get along with or find any real camaraderie among the group of Texan hickish mouth breathers that occupied my high school. I spent a ton of time on the Internet and on Tumblr where I enjoyed a fleeting moment of internet fame and found ~my people~ a group of out on the internet but closeted in real life gay boys. The vast majority of my internet friends were located in London, Bristol and the UK so my cultural points of reference were also largely British.
This is all to say this is how I came across Marina & The Diamonds. The Family Jewels was a turning point for me. Here was this like beautiful and (vaguely) Mediterranean looking woman singing about loneliness, depression, and isolation using wit, dry humor, and catchy choruses. It was the exact and only type of vulnerability I could relate to—snide, self deprecating, and agoraphobic.
Marina was how I envisioned myself after emerging from my cocoon of hideousness and social discomfort. Thick, beautiful, and viciously using my silver tongue to seek revenge on anyone and everyone who had wronged me (i.e. BEEN CRUEL TO ME OR NOT TREATED ME LIKE THE DIAMOND COVERED IN MUD AND SHIT THAT I WAS/AM).
Unlike some of the other shit that I listened to on repeat during this trying time of my adolescence (Cobra Starship, Fall Out Boy….), I still listen to The Family Jewels on a weekly, if not daily, basis. And in case you’re new here or haven’t figured it out by now my taste in music tends to veer almost exclusively towards noise and punk rock, so this record of belted out pop number is really living on the edge for me.
She’s since released two other albums—Electra Heart and Froot. Although the former was wildly successful it veered too much into play territory for me and lacked the sardonic wit and scathing societal critique that I apparently need to enjoy anything.
Start with “Shampain,” then “Obsessions,” “Hermit The Frog,” and “Numb.” And if you decide you’re down to belt out show tunes while crying in the shower go through the rest of the album.