Marina Diamandis has been giving life a lot of thought recently, and she’s reached a number of conclusions.

Marina

One is that she no longer needs the imaginary ‘Diamonds’ who’ve accompanied her for the last decade. Another is there are only two emotions: love and fear. This would be surprising if surprise weren’t now apparently an invalid response.

Anyway, she feels so strongly that they’re the focus of her fourth album, which is helpfully divided into two such halves. Presumably the extravagant To Be Human – where she declares “All the people living in the world today/ We’re united by our love/ We’re united by our pain” – could have suited either. This would be confusing if confusion weren’t now an invalid response.

Such clear-cut beliefs, though, suit a voice so demure that a Swiss finishing school’s headmistress would approve. Whether amid Orange Trees’ understated electro-pop, Baby’s feelgood Mediterranean flavours, Believe In Love’s mix of ethereal and ominous, or No More Suckers’ tropical flavours, there’s a strict, choral rigidity to Diamandis’ performances.

Simultaneously, there’s an appealing melodrama to Handmade Heaven and a tenderness to Soft To Be Strong. So, you see? There’s more to life than Love + Fear.

7/10

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Wyndham Wallace

 

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