Marina and the Diamonds | The Family Jewels

Chop Shop | 2010
By LUKE O'NEIL  |  July 13, 2010
4.0 4.0 Stars

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You know those sci-fi dystopias where people strap themselves into little portable video pods and mainline TV feeds into their face until they become useless, pale husks incapable of feeding themselves? Well, I've just watched the video for "Oh No!", from Marina and the Diamonds' debut full-length, 47 times, and I think I'm gonna be content with just this for the rest of my life — let my mom know I love her or whatever.

I'd be fronting if I didn't mention that Welsh singer Marina Diamandis's uncommon beauty has something to do with the appeal of the already irresistibly idiosyncratic dance-pop track, but she could look like a beached narwhal with face cancer — the pop-art charisma she exudes with every flutter of her simultaneously winking and heartbroken voice would still destroy worlds. And that's probably not even the best track here.

"I Am Not a Robot" is a wounded, sweeping swan song in the Regina Spektor quirk-pop piano mold that's the most romantic musical declaration of humanity in memory. (Search out Penguin Prison's chilly disco remix, which ups the dance- and brain-virus quotient considerably.) "Hollywood," too, captivates with an artful dissection of the American Dream that surface-level stylistic doppelgänger Katy Perry would need a study guide to parse. The likes of Kate Nash and company have flitted through this piano siren/exuberant dance-diva territory, but never mind, because this gorgeous genre starts now.

  Topics: CD Reviews , Entertainment, Music, Wales,  More more >
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