Photo credit: Marina / YouTube
If you aren’t an indie pop fan, Marina Diamandis might be the girl to make you one! Hailing from the goldmine of British pop stardom, London, the Welsh born triple threat singer-songwriter and producer, is finally making her way to the U.S. mainstream. After simmering for a few years locally, it was 2015’s FROOT LP that finally garnered the hippie brunette critical acclaim. She achieved a first time #1 album on the U.K charts as well as a top ten debut on the U.S Billboard charts.
Fast forward to 2019, as patient fans have anxiously awaited, she is now back with her fourth studio release titled Love +Fear. Diamandis described in her own words how the project inspired her to ultimately find balance and confidence in her music like never before: “There are only two emotions: love and fear. All positive emotions come from love, all negative emotions from fear. From love flows happiness, contentment, peace, and joy. From fear comes anger, hate, anxiety, and guilt.”
Now poised and seasoned, upon initial listen it’s clear Marina is ready to officially set her trail ablaze right out of the gate! Kicking things off is the intro single “Handmade Heaven” which has a dreamy tone to it as she sings in a smooth vibrato about blue birds and sunny skies, which makes you want to be wherever it is she’s at. “Orange Trees” is an absolute delight. The sweet cozy tune, which is lyrically fantastic, will have you wanting to grab a lovers hand, go sit on a warm beach and sip coconut flavored drinks as she sings: “Flowers in my hair, I belong by the sea // where we use to be, sitting by the orange trees // summer in the air, bodies in the heat // just you and me // life is beautiful and now you see // this is how if feels to be free.”
She keeps things up on the spicy “Baby” featuring Luis Fonsi (one of the few features on the album), sparking a lively Latin based feel, light banjos and guitar backdrops giving you a Shakira hip-shaking vibe. Produced almost solely by Diamandis herself, the entire album has an enjoyable flow to it. Exceptionally written throughout, there isn’t too much or too little of anything. Never trying too hard or not enough. On the poppy and uplifting “Enjoy your Life”, she lends positivity and encouragement through life struggles, in a fun but coy way. The same can be said about “You”, a suave you’ve met your match type scenario, as she sings genuine but sweetly along a tap dancing beat. With that said, what is refreshing about Love +Fear is Marina’s ability to simply convey her message exactly the way it is intended. Her musical appeal is entertaining, but it is not forced. Yes! Sometimes less is more.
Diamandis gets real on the inspiring standout “True” as she belts: “Everybody tells us what to do // think they always know what’s good for you // we know they don’t really have a clue // people like to tell you what to think // let it go and listen to your own instincts // Cause you don’t need nobody else // when you are true to yourself.” She continues to show her authentic side on “Believe In Love” which is a gentle and hopeful ballad, and on “Too Afraid” about a familiar love that’s to hard to leave: “Well what can I do // oh why can’t I change, I wanna move move on but I’m just too afraid // that’s why I stay, just too afraid.”
For the most part Love+Fear is a cool comfortable ride. Think more of G4 leather reclining seats than commercial plane peanuts. With the exception of tracks like “Emotional Machine”, which sounds more like a lackluster version of a trippy song at a rave party. Or “End Of Earth”, Karma” and “Life is Strange”, which all seem to somewhat play filler roles; the good definitely outweighs the bad throughout the album. Love+Fear is deserved comfort and conquering at its absolute finest. Out is the blood, sweat, and tears and in is the assurance to persevere. Living life to the fullest indeed!
Welcome to Love+Fear.
Written by: DeShonna Watson