ATP! Album Review: Marina and The Diamonds - FROOT
While the saturated cover art looks inviting, Marina Diamandis dives in to some of the heaviest topics of her career. Pure selfishness, solidarity and sorrow are readily available in tracks like “Immortal” and “Solitaire.”
FROOT follows a relationship coming to a close; this becomes a catapult in to Diamandis’ struggle, like many of us, to make a monument for her to leave behind when she is gone. The ballad-heavy FROOT gave us a sweet taste of what kinds of delicacies Diamandis has been sampling lately.
The production on FROOT is Diamandis’ most unique to date. Hands. Down. This record carries a distinct atmosphere of suspended sounds and ambient vocals, setting it apart from her previous works. It’s clear that Diamandis wanted to step away from all of the fancy studio effects and hone in on a sound that was truly different that she liked.
That being said, there were a few moments on FROOT that seemed like missed opportunities. “Can’t Pin Me Down” has an empowering message and a bobbing melody. Yet Diamandis chose to shower her vocals in this cheesy, and quite frankly unnecessary, vocal distortion that ultimately takes most of the personality out of the track. Which is sadly one of the main pitfalls of FROOT as a whole.
The true strength of the record rests in the first five tracks, all of which consisting of her “Froot of the month” singles. That same strength doesn’t really continue in the following tracks, where Diamandis loses quite a lot of momentum for the sake of feelings (very anti-Electra). Similar vocal alterations along with lots of reverb start to become a crutch in the latter part of the album. There’s no denying Diamandis has immense talent, but these vocal effects almost seem like she is toning herself down.
However it seems like there’s a reason for all of that… fluff. FROOT is very much an album of self- discovery. Discovering new production styles, new outlooks on life, and new ways of looking inside yourself to find satisfaction, and having a bit of fun on the way. When all of that will come together for Marina and the Diamonds is truly up to her. For now, FROOT serves as a bridge to Diamandis’ next level.
Growth seems to be a recurring theme in Marina and the Diamonds’ work. Was FROOT the monument she wants to leave behind? Maybe. Is that monument later down the road? Very much so. FROOT is Marina and the Diamonds in transition. Finding her sound, finding her image, finding herself. The future of Diamandis feels very exciting, so we’ll be on the edge of our seats to see what feast Marina and the Diamonds will serve us next.