A true test of emotions
Welsh pop star Marina Diamandis once was ready to say goodbye to a life of music for good. After performing as Marina and the Diamonds for most of her professional career, the 33-year-old indie-pop star has decided to go strictly by Marina. Diamandis’ most recent endeavor came after trying to participate in acting classes which led to the then ex-musician to enrollment at the University of London. The idea of immersing herself in a “normal” environment was liberating to Diamandis. The struggle of finding herself and her purpose led Diamandis to Love + Fear, based on the two primary emotions in life. The double album, which is split into two sides, is 16 tracks filled to the brim with unfiltered passion and real-life struggles.
The lead single and first track on the album “Handmade Heaven” represents a re-born Marina with a brand new outlook on her version of paradise. From exploring self-love to romantic love, the first side of the album shares tracks like “Superstar” and True” which only show the surface level of the idea of the album. “Enjoy Your Life” is an indie-pop dream. Each beat is met with Diamandis’ soothing vocals that explode into a simple reminder to simply enjoy your life. “Orange Trees” is another standout on the Love side of the album. With a very tropical feel, a light acoustic guitar is matched with a rhythmic drum beat to create a track that is nothing more than a reminder of the best times. “To Be Human” demonstrates the best lyrical moments for Diamandis on the Love side of the album, “People driving fancy cars look like beetles to the stars/ the missiles and the bombs sound like symphonies gone wrong.”
The Fear side of the album is significantly darker and takes a turn towards topics of anxiety and self-doubt. The sound throughout this side of the album has a grim feeling hanging on to each beat. “Believe In Love” starts the Fear side of the album off with a familiar idea of losing the one you tried so hard to work for. “Too Afraid” and “Life Is Strange” are both standout tracks on this side of the album based on the true fear that Diamandis has portrayed through her lyrics. “Karma,” said to be a response to the #MeTooMovement, plays a small role in the album with its seemingly light sound. “Soft To Be Strong” ends Fear with light piano and a simple message, to love you need to be strong. Although in the past Fear would be right in Diamandis’ wheelhouse, it seems that there are a few points that seem a bit nuanced and don’t fit with the album as a whole. The new and improved Marina has gone through fear to reach love and she puts every bit of her new self in each track on the double album.