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Marina - LOVE + FEAR (Album Review)

Friday, 03 May 2019 Written by Milly McMahon

Four years on from the release of ‘Froot’, and newly shorn of her Marina and the Diamonds sobriquet, Marina Diamandis has returned with 'LOVE + FEAR', an ambitious LP that consists of two juxtaposing parts. It’s quite literally Love versus Fear as this 15 track confessional unfurls like a lopsided boxing match.

Hints of Marina’s earlier, poptimistic aesthetic creep in on the first half of the album, resonating on tracks like Handmade Heaven to lift spirits and illuminate her angelic vocal tones, which feel so familiar and effortlessly harmonious.

Aged 33, and nine years since the release of her debut LP ‘The Family Jewels’, Marina takes a coming of age approach to representing herself on 'LOVE + FEAR'.

This feels poignant and her thoughts are infused with hope; innocently framed with an honest clarity throughout the album’s first half, including the excellent Luis Fonsi/Clean Bandit collab Baby. Looking to the future, Marina strips back her sound and focuses on the strength of her voice, her finest asset.

But, with the introduction of the second half of the album, standards drop. Life is Strange is a weak, patronising moment and all too suddenly we’re confronted with Karma, which, quite simply, is a mess. Her ambition—establishing a new, mature identity—feels realised but convoluted.  

Determined to make an impact with this autobiographical compendium, Marina has inundated us with material that could have been edited down to a more concise and considered chapter. Quantity overshadows quality here, but real diamonds are found on the album.

Day one fans will find much to love and fresh-faced audiences, new to her off-kilter arrangements, will discover her playful vocals and layered metaphors in their most refined form. An artist with plenty to say and stand for, Marina deserves respect for the brave approach to her craft this album represents.

MARINA Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Fri May 03 2019 - LONDON Royal Albert Hall
Tue May 07 2019 - BOURNEMOUTH O2 Academy Bournemouth
Thu May 09 2019 - BIRMINGHAM O2 Academy Birmingham
Fri May 10 2019 - MANCHESTER O2 Apollo

Click here to compare & buy MARINA Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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