Friday, April 3rd, 2009

Marina & The Diamonds – Obsessions

Welsh woman makes her bow by stressing about crackers…


Keane Tzong: This is beautifully sung: throaty, burbly vocals, super-campy dramatic wails in the background, and layered vocalizations toward the middle of the song that blend in with the instrumental. As if that weren’t enough, the way Marina pronounces the title of the song itself is damn near rapturous. Just be careful to focus on the method of delivery, rather than the words, because they are about as stupid as the vocal technique is brilliant.

Martin Skidmore: The music is annoyingly perky, turning into a pub singalong on parts of it, which I imagine might be a chorus of some kind, and the vocals are miserably tuneless. I’d love to hear a new Kate Bush, but I don’t want lots more Kate Nashes, thanks.

Talia Kraines: Marina sounds like Regina Spektor doing a dance of the seven veils with Kate Bush. She also sounds absolutely mental. Brilliant.

Iain Mew: No doubt that Marina has a rather impressive voice, especially when using the bottom end of her range. To stand out in an increasingly crowded field is going to take a bit more than that, though, and “Obsessions” doesn’t really convince on any other front. The fact that the bit consisting of her going ‘ah-ah-ah’ a lot is the highlight doesn’t say much for the songwriting.

Martin Kavka: Has Marina gone to art school, and been stained by the belief that every little thing she does is Fraught With Significance? She spends fifty seconds in the second verse talking about having a nervous breakdown while selecting crackers in a grocery store… because capitalist branding schemes have made this purchase into a choiceless choice? Or something like that? Please, Marina: grow up, buy the cheap no-name brand, and then shut up while you’re training your palate to appreciate distinction, so that Liam Howe’s neat production can work its charm without your self-absorption getting in its way.

Edward Okulicz: In this global financial crisis, lushly-arranged slightly off-centre female-fronted pop is very much a buyer’s market.

Additional Scores

Rodney J. Greene: [2]
Ian Mathers: [4]
Jessica Popper: [8]
Alex Wisgard: [3]

2 Responses to “Marina & The Diamonds – Obsessions”

  1. Hmm…We’ve never covered the follow up to this, I Am Not Robot, I suppose because we have enough quirky Brits to deal with, and enough mannered female pianists etc. etc. etc.

    BUT. While Obsessions is kind of pleasant, Robot is a huge leap forward. Just properly paid attention to it a few weeks ago and both it and its remixes are highly recommended.

  2. Yes, I like “I Am Not a Robot” a lot too.