Monday, August 29, 2011


Song: Radioactive
Artist: Marina and the Diamonds
Album: Radioactive

As longtime readers know, I was pretty taken with Welsh singer-songwriter Marina and the Diamonds when she first emerged with the gonzo single "Mowgli's Road," and then the official full-length album "The Family Jewels," which did the best thing an of-the-internet-age album could do... get you excited with a handful of killer songs that get leaked, and then surprise with an album that contains a handful of other great tracks vs. a bunch of filler.  She didn't take off in quite the way I thought she might, but that might ultimaely change.

After touring the world on her own promoting "The Family Jewels," and her off beat brand of pop music, she oddly joined Katy Perry as opener for her "California Dreams" tour.  While I do like Katy Perry, I was unsure if her fans would take to a true oddball like Marina.  It certainly didn't garner her a big hit single, but the gig proved to be a clue to a new direction.  Marina is going pop, in a pretty big way.

Just recently the BBC released a brand new Marina single, "Radioactive," for her as-yet-scheduled-for-release sophomore album "Electra Heart."  It's quite a surprise, a Stargate (Ne Yo's "Closer," Beyonce's "Irreplaceable") produced dance track that's way less piano-driven quirky pop song with dance beats, and way more straight-up Euro trance.  Umm... what? ?!?!?!

It turns out, despite mentioning that "Electra Heart" is "mainly about female sexuality and feminism," that it must also be about big pop hooks as she's working with hit makers Guy Sigsworth, Diplo, Greg Kurstin, and Dr. Luke to name a few.   Our quirky Welsh possible taker of the Kate Bush/Tori Amos freak-chick crown wants to have the same people on her speed dial as Ke$ha?  And now she's blonde?  And a spokeswoman for makeup king Max Factor?  Okay...

All of that said, I actually like "Radioactive."  I'm not into trance that much (though have been digesting a new trance album that I most likely will be WeCasting soon...) but like Marina's trademark deep voice with the euphoric in-the-clouds beats.  In a way it's unmistakable Marina, despite having a very different sound.  It's easy for a hipster to be cynical about all of this... and yet it's hitting all of my dance-pop buttons.  And an acoustic version that's been released at the same time just proves... there is a Marina song in there as the base.

What do you think of this new sound?


Radioactive (acoustic)
Radioactive (How to Dress Well Re-work)

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