Recommend one song.

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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: Recommend one song.

Post: # 9848Post Garrett Gilchrist
Thu Jan 17, 2019 8:52 am

Marina and the Diamonds' Neon Nature (Froot) tour featured artwork and animation by Gabriel Marques.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkiHb9lxsiY

The Electra Heart era is introduced with her theme song (which isn't on the album but had a music video here :)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhHrrVlshQ8

After the line "Can we go back, go back to the start," Marina's animated image briefly changes to resemble Britney Spears in the Toxic video, with music to match (!) ... a nod to one of Electra Heart's influences ....

Non-album Electra Hearts songs also include EVOL, Lonely Hearts Club, Radioactive, and Buy the Stars (which sounds a bit like "Numb"). I feel like there's more I'm missing .... Living Dead, Sex Yeah (Free Sex), and How to be a Heartbreaker are only on some versions also. Gets a bit confusing, possibly due to her loss of creative control during this era.

The Other Foot/Just Desserts also came out of this era.
More mysteriously there was also Superhuman and (If It's) Worth It.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NeDe89NnC9M
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vf8e3OozHlI
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ophnmGWQGsU
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCELnFwUVXE

Oh, and if they count, the Su-Barbie-A intro (Valley of the Dolls), and The Archetypes (State of Dreaming).
https://youtu.be/Ww8lYVerLo4

Really worth compiling an extended playlist for this era, as the video releases sort of did.

When the album was called "Die Life," the tracks included:
Scab & Plaster
Starring Role
Power & Control
Living Dead (Possibly the title track "Die Life")
Sex Yeah
Miss Y
Jealousy

Family Jewels outtakes include Bad Kidz, The Family Jewels, Dirty Sheets, Space and the Woods, Starlight and Sinful. Also Like the Other Girls (which is similar to Scab & Plaster.)

Froot outtakes include "When You Take Away Control", "I'm Not Hungry Anymore" and "Saviour". (And "True Colors.")

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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: Recommend one song.

Post: # 9862Post Garrett Gilchrist
Thu Jan 24, 2019 6:07 am

Numb - Marina and the Diamonds (Live Music Video) Feat. Electra Heart

Marina Diamandis performs "Numb" from "The Family Jewels."

Video edit: Garrett Gilchrist

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xwcNWhtwx8


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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: Recommend one song.

Post: # 9941Post Garrett Gilchrist
Thu Mar 21, 2019 3:08 pm

Let's talk about weird Beach Boys stuff from the later years, the early 90s especially.

"Smart Girls" is a song by Brian Wilson for his rejected 1991 album Sweet Insanity, part of when he was being exploited by creep psychologist Eugene Landy. It ends up being a goofy rap journey through Brian's Beach Boys career, with samples thrown in at random by Landy and company. A lot of, "hey, remember this one?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sz0SnpN_O00

For awhile, Brian became fixated on recording "Shortenin Bread ..."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxs2mnrRgsA
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CCvOiwUMNW8

Here's Mike Love and company re-recording early Beach Boys hit "Surfin'" in 1992.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mP_QXx4eUGM

And hell yes, it's time for Mike Love and company on Baywatch. Spooky stuff.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBFsJk6PWu0

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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: Recommend one song.

Post: # 9969Post Garrett Gilchrist
Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:44 pm

Youtube showing me Marina's "Orange Trees" music video as an ADVERTISEMENT

As if I haven't already seen it

As if I haven't already proposed marriage to this video

Youtube, underestimating me

My exact quote was "Thriller movie where I'm a cop on the edge haunted by memories of my dead wife, except it's just this video by Marina and the Diamonds"

Okay, I've been spamming this thread with Marina a lot.

The tracks so far from Marina's new album haven't won me over yet, but I'm still there for this. And the summer vibes.

https://youtu.be/0H6vdQSXaR4

(New album is "Love and Fear" and she's showing "Love" first. So it's pretty cheerful stuff without the weirdness and edge she had starting out. That's not a surprise after the "Froot" album, which is often about being healthy and not suicidal anymore. But we don't know yet what "Fear" will sound like.)

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Re: Recommend one song.

Post: # 10002Post Garrett Gilchrist
Wed May 01, 2019 3:30 am

(Apologies in advance for writing yet another "history of Marina and the Diamonds" for this thread but it's necessary here to go back to this well.)

Marina and the Diamonds is just Marina now, for her fourth studio album, the lush and beautiful "Love & Fear." It's an easy listen full to bursting with gorgeous tracks. But it lacks the quirkiness and personal voice of her debut "The Family Jewels," and listeners coming late to Marina's career may find themselves wondering what all the fuss was about, one way or the other.

Marina Diamandis was an adult, old enough to drink, when she took up singing and songwriting. Her rough and personal early sound was cleaned up just enough for her landmark debut, "The Family Jewels." It felt very personal, as she sang openly about depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsive disorder, suicidal thoughts, and her desire to be famous. The metanarrative was that she'd thrown away the rest of her normal life in an effort to become the biggest pop star in the world. The quirkiest single, "Mowgli's Road," saw her questioning whether to take a more unusual and personal track with her songwriting, or to sell out into the mainstream. She sang about the sort of pop sensation who would become hugely famous, and then flame out in a haze of drugs and depression and die young, as if predicting her own death.

Well, none of that happened. "The Family Jewels" was a modest success but many dismissed her as a novelty act. She didn't take over the pop music conversation in the way that, say, Lady Gaga or Taylor Swift did.

For her second album, she turned her intrusive thoughts into the character of Electra Heart, a mainstream pop singer who's unlucky in love and happy to play negative stereotypes of women, and who dies young. Despite the theatrical presentation she made a genuine attempt to "sell out" here with her sound, losing creative control to mainstream pop producers. It's actually hard to tell which songs were intended to be on the final album, including the title track.

Her third album "Froot" showed her in a happier, healthier place, with a newfound maturity. She presented her mental health struggles as something she had worked to overcome, and that she's made her peace with not getting everything she wanted when she was starting out. It was less quirky, and any social commentary was presented as on-the-nose without subtext, as with "Savages."

Marina has gotten less quirky and perhaps less personal with each album, but with this comes increasing devotion to musicality as a craft. She is less open about her mental health struggles, wanting us to know she's all right now, really. It's hard to imagine any previous Marina album tackling "No More Suckers," which is a very confident middle finger pointed in the direction of those who've wasted her time and affections.

Tracks like "No More Suckers," "Karma" and "You" are pointed enough commentary about unnamed men she's known that they feel more specific than the rest of the album, without actually being a return to form.

It's rumored that many of these tracks were written over existing instrumentals, which explains why they work as music but lack the feeling of emotions and thoughts spilling out on the page that Marina's early work had. There's few surprises here, few truly strange choices. One track, "Emotional Machine," will remind listeners of "I Am Not a Robot," but without any of that track's emotion and personal qualities.

There's a recurring theme that Marina has been traveling a lot, and seeing the world. "To Be Human" is a highlight of the album, in which she sings about traveling, and a desire for people all over the world to recognize that unites us rather than divides us. But the lyrics are bland and take no risks, even compared to the very straightforward "Savages" from Froot. They end up feeling like a mushy centrism, or a journal about her last couple of vacations, even if it's intended as a rebuke to racism and Trumpism.

There is a sense throughout much of the album, as with Froot, that a more mature Marina is sharing what she's learned. The album's closer "Soft to Be Strong" is an obvious example. But the lyrics throughout are so vague that they don't add up to much. The intention, as with a lot of music, is to be universal enough that people can interpret the songs in their own way, and maybe that's enough.

"Life Is Strange" appears to be about nothing at all, and stands out as a missed opportunity which drags down the second side of the album. It's the most disposable track here, and it didn't have to be. It is, at least, a compliment to the album that the other tracks don't stand out as equally disposable.

What we do get are some lovely tracks aboul love and fear.

One highlight is "Orange Trees," a summery Love track about vacationing in Greece which finds a very appealing way to pronounce "Orange."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0H6vdQSXaR4

It seems she's still writing through depression at times but working to present an idealized vibe rather than wallow in that. "Enjoy your problems," she sings in "Enjoy Your Life."

The "love" songs aren't always positive, and the "fear" songs aren't always negative. The likes of "End of the Earth" and "Believe In Love" mingle the two, hinting at complex emotions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1j3PuwCekg

There's also "Baby," a collaboration with Clean Bandit and Luis Fonsi which already appeared on Clean Bandit's last album, and which outshines most of this one.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hlznpxNGFGQ

Elle magazine notes that the album was "Inspired in part by her psychology studies at the University of London and her love of Swedish psychologist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, whose ideology states that there are only two primary emotions, love and fear."
https://www.elle.com/culture/music/a272 ... interview/

It's a beautiful album and an easy listen, though it won't stop you in your tracks with quirkiness and darkly specific lyrics. Marina's early work was weird because she felt she was weird and unusual, and it seems she's come to realize she's normal really. Marina says in the above interview "I think I'm more at peace with the fact that we are all messy and chaotic."

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Garrett Gilchrist
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Re: Recommend one song.

Post: # 10003Post Garrett Gilchrist
Wed May 01, 2019 11:16 pm

Emma Bunton - My Happy Place: The fourth solo album from Emma Bunton, alias Baby Spice of the Spice Girls, consists of two original songs and eight straightforward covers. For her first studio album since 2006, it's a pleasant listen but also feels like a low-effort piece of work, apart from the two singles.

There's a 60s (or early 70s) vibe to much of the album, and "Baby Please Don't Stop" and "Too Many Teardrops" are sultry throwbacks which sound like Bunton is singing about James Bond. If you're in the right mood they're the right tracks.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=68NM1axZ9XE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFHS1L4ntQk

The cover songs are fine but don't add a lot to the album. Bunton covers Madison Avenue's "Don't Call Me Baby," which was originally a house dance track, apparently because she couldn't resist the joke.

"I Only Want to Be with You" features Pop Idol favorite Will Young, who sounds bizarrely out of place here, throwing an otherwise fine Dusty Springfield tribute out of balance. When Bunton covers Norah Jones' "Come Away with Me" (featuring Josh Kumra), I wondered why she bothered, as the target audience for this album probably still has Norah Jones' original on their playlists.

"You're All I Need to Get By" features Bunton's partner Jade Jones, who certainly has the singing chops for this Marvin Gaye throwback. It makes the album a family affair, but is another example of Bunton singing with a man whose voice is higher than her own. Meanwhile the apparently obligatory Spice Girls cover "2 Become 1" features Robbie Williams.

"My Happy Place" accomplishes what it sets out to do. There's a couple of decent singles and it gets Emma Bunton back in the charts and in record shops in time for the Spice Girls reunion this month. It's a teaser for what Bunton could have done if she put more time and thought into recording new material.

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Re: Recommend one song.

Post: # 10028Post Garrett Gilchrist
Fri Jun 07, 2019 12:15 am

Sia is one of the biggest stars in pop, and one of the most iconic and recognizable, with her bold black and white wigs. But for the past decade she's been reluctant to actually show her face when performing. Those bold wigs tend to obscure her face entirely, and she heavily features child/teenage dancer Maddie Ziegler in most of her music videos and live performances, on television and otherwise. Both the music video for "Cheap Thrills," and many of its live performances, feature Sia in a "negative spotlight," darkening her in favor of the eccentric dancers.

She started recording in the 90s. Petty corporate disputes with Sony and other record labels kept her from any sort of big stardom in the mid-2000s, and she kept going as an indie artist. Reportedly around 2010 she decided to give up performing as herself, and work full-time as a songwriter. Many big stars had already rejected Sia's tracks when, in 2011, David Guetta released "Titanium" with Sia's temp vocals intact. The single was a huge success, taking Sia quite by surprise. Apparently she hadn't even authorized it.

It seemed that Sia didn't want that kind of stardom. She didn't want her appearance constantly picked apart by tabloids, and she didn't want performance anxiety, and the booze-and-pills lifestyle of a pop star, to push her to the brink of suicide, as it had in the past. She didn't want to be recognized on the street and be unable to live her life.

Today she works with pop's biggest artists, crafting lots of hits like "Chandelier" and "Cheap Thrills," and horsed around in the animated My Little Pony movie. No one seems too bothered with those wigs that cover her eyes, or the dancers that take the spotlight while she hides in the dark.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Hg_rIqOZHc
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7cKL60bFIVQ
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=paXOkGMyG8M
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S_RzBeC5ZJY

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