On The Download: Marina & The Diamonds

I have The CW to thank for my latest musical discoveries. Teeny Bopper, slightly risque shows like “Gossip Girl,” “90210” and “One Tree Hill” are heavily concentrated with music from really cool bands that crank out some fantastic tunes, but are normally not as mainstream as the Coldplays and Gagas of the world.

That’s not to say they are not successful in their own right. At all. And such is the case with Welsh singer, Marina and the Diamonds, who comes to us from across the pond and has taken the British charts by storm and is now slated to conquer the U.S. with her big voice. And what a unique one at that!

It’s very rare to really like every song on an artist’s album. Usually one or two songs get lost in the shuffle and are just “eh.” With Marina’s debut album, “The Family Jewels,” which was released last year, every song deserves its time to shine.

It’s astounding to see the range of vocals that come out of this petite Catherine Zeta-Jones lookalike (whose real name is Marina Lambrini Diamandis). There is the sultriness that is reminiscent of a Fiona Apple and on another extreme, there are Britney Spears bubble gum beats that get you quickly hooked. But above all, this 25-year-old sensation is a girl on a journey who knows exactly what she wants and who she wants to be.

Beyond the quirky and cute style, Marina is just a girl who is discovering who she is and who doesn’t shy away from self expression or her own opinions. Songs like “Hollywood” (CLICK HERE for the video!) speak loudly to the obsession with celebrity culture and the pitfalls of fame. Who can’t relate to being glued to the tabloids in the checkout line and being addicted to celebs and their downfall?? One of my favorite tracks on the album is “I Am Not a Robot,” which is all about finding who you are and being true to yourself. And as Marina says in her lyrics, “Better to be hated than loved for what you’re not.” I mean, what youngin’ or anyone of any age for that matter, can’t find truth in a statement like that?!

And ever get the pop star urge to let loose and dance in front of your mirror like no one’s watching?! “Oh No!” is the perfect jam to rock out to. It’s catchy, poppy and absolutely up-tempo. And I feel like this song really showcases that strong female vocal range with which Marina can easily go back and forth.

What is so amazingly fun about this album is how I’m thrown back to all these different eras that remind me of childhood or of old memories. When I first heard “Shampain,” I thought “OMG, this song make me feel like a glam queen!” The beats had me thinking Madonna and Gaga. And after watching the video, add a little Michael Jackson “Thriller” to that eclectic cocktail. Brilliant! This song was perfect for my 30th birthday ‘80s bash just a couple of months ago!

If you are on the hunt for a new addition to your music collection, and looking for an artist who is a talented female singer who can carry a tune, is distinctively rock star chic, and has something interesting to say, check out Marina and the Diamonds. This set of pipes will blow you away. Trust me. You will thank me.

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