When Marina first announced that she was releasing a new album, fans were skeptical that she could shake loose the character archetypes from Electra Heart. However, FROOT, Marina’s latest album, has shown Marina’s true musical talent with regards to both her vocals and lyricism, and gone above and beyond any of her past efforts.
“Happy” is a stellar example of the juxtaposition Marina employs in her music. Marina sings of finding inner happiness, rather than having someone to complete her. Simple piano chords in “Happy” provide a subtle background for her lyrics to shine. The title track, “Froot”, features an electro-bass heavy tune where we imagine Marina as a ripe fruit ready to be picked by some lover.
“I’m A Ruin” showcases Marina’s voice, which soars over the soft drum and synth-pop track. The lyrics speak to the emotions behind breaking up with someone but feeling upset about hurting them. “Blue” and “Weeds” are similar thematically. “Blue” explains the confusion behind missing a lover after a breakup. Likewise, “Weeds” is about wanting her lover to understand that their relationship is failing because she is redeveloping feelings for a past lover.
“Forget” explores the theme of admitting your wrongs; mistakes are okay, so move on and learn from the past. “Gold” is a slower track in contrast to the rest of the songs, it features a more sparkly, lilting electro-tune. With lyrics like “I’m a million dollars in the hole/Baby, I don’t even want your gold” , Marina hints that she doesn’t care for the money or big producers from Electra Heart. She wants to be free to make music she loves, a theme that is echoed on “Can’t Pin Me Down”, my favourite song off the album. Marina sings “do you really want me to write a feminist anthem/I’m happy cooking dinner in the kitchen for my husband”, firing back at critics for pegging her only as a feminist songstress.
“Solitaire”, has one of the catchiest choruses on the album, where Marina sings “Cut like a jewel, yeah I repair/Myself when you’re not there”. “Immortal” is a sombre song about wanting to be remembered after death. “Better Than That” explores the theme of wanting society to get its act together, and shows Marina’s ability to incorporate societal issues while contrasting its significance with catchy pop hooks. Following the same theme, “Savages” explores society’s corruption. It’s a profound statement about existentialism and speaks to the idea that we should be afraid of what humans are capable of doing.
With FROOT, Marina has shown listeners that she is here to stay, while exploring various new themes and styles of music. Unlike Electra Heart, FROOT allows us to really see Marina for who she is, and not an archetype. The album is raw, true, and internal. Marina is colouring all over the lines, and she’s not going to stop until she’s shattered every societal expectation that has been set out for her.
Standout Tracks: Happy, Can’t Pin Me Down, Savages
Review by Chantel Lui | @arkeIIs