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The Family Jewels

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iTunes Review

Welsh singer/songwriter Marina Diamandis commands the spotlight from the opening track “Are You Satisfied?” onwards, alternately lusting after fame and recoiling from its trappings. Her elastic vocal presence — capable of sweet trills and throaty lows — brings out the feverish elation and biting mockery of her lyrics. Along the way, the ultra-caffeinated grooves of “Girls”, “Oh No!”, “Mowgli’s Road” and “Shampain” grab at the body as well as tease the mind. Beyond the dazzling surface of these tunes, Marina is capable of dissecting twisted relationships (“Obsessions”, “Hermit the Frog”) or tossing off snarky satire (“Hollywood”) with a merciless touch. When not giving herself a pep talk, she is prone to brutal introspection, as “Guilty” shows. “I Am Not a Robot” deserves special praise for its cool shimmer and yearning heart. Taking cues from everyone from Kate Bush to Gwen Stefani and Kate Nash, The Family Jewels ultimately stands on its own thanks to Marina’s smart, self-aware songs and the album’s sleek, hard-pumping production. Straight up, this album is a gem.

Customer Reviews

Pop Perfection

I'll be honest and say that I was slightly disappointed at first, only because I felt there wasn't a sufficient amount of new material, as I'd previously heard a lot of the songs already. However, a majority of the tracks are brilliant, including the 'old' ones, which is why The Family Jewels gets five stars.

'Guilty' made up for my initial 'disappointment'. It's the final track on the album, but one of the best. It is hauntingly beautiful, the tone of the chorus bringing about a memorable, melancholic feeling. Among the new tracks include 'Oh No!' which has some brilliant pre-choruses – repetitions of "I just wanna change" and "it has no appeal", and 'Rootless'.
'Girls' is another one of the catchy tracks, mainly because of its brilliant chorus. It starts off with an eerie string melody, with an echo effect on Marina's vocals which is used to great impact.

'Hermit The Frog' has been growing on me, despite my first thoughts of it not being up to the standards of some of the other tracks. The opening track, 'Are You Satisfied?', is also a grower, boasting lyrics such as "It's my problem if I have no friends / And feel I want to die".

The Family Jewels is a great treat, combining meaning and melody to create pop perfection.

Are you satisfied?



just a really genuinely good album - favourites include Numb, Guilty and Obsessions...but there is not a single filler song! love it love it love it!


Formed: 2005 in London, England

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Marina and the Diamonds, really just Marina Diamandis, was born in 1986 to Welsh and Greek parents, although she has often claimed to be from Ancient Greece. After dropping out of four different music courses at four different universities, she decided to make her own way in music, and began writing left-field pop songs. Early on, she claimed that her inspirations were Britney Spears and Gwen Stefani -- who she often covered at live gigs -- but her songs have a soulful edge pointing to a deeper source...
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