Indie-pop group Marina and the Diamonds’ new album, “Froot,” is a delicious surprise. Greek-Welsh frontwoman Marina Lambrini Diamandis has a syrupy, deep sound resembling that of Lana Del Rey, but Diamandis adds a discotheque twist. Marina and her shining band bring 80s electro-pop back into the music scene in a more appealing, impressive way than anyone could have expected or hoped for given the present state of the industry.
Marina’s deep, velvety voice is accompanied throughout the album by electric keyboard, bass guitar, and heavy synthesizers, an inventive mix of sound that leaves one wanting to dance wildly one moment, then sit down and simply listen to the compelling, baiting lyrics the next.
Lyrically, “Froot” is a substantial step forward from Marina’s two previous albums, “Electra Heart” and “The Family Jewels.” Marina’s voice draws you in emotionally, and forces you to pay attention to her words about losing oneself, finding hope, and being a woman free of all expectations. The album is a far cry from the materialistic, substanceless material prevalent in so much popular music. Instead, Marina crosses the border into relatable emotional territory lyrically while still enjoying the fun, upbeat sound of the music itself.
Title track “Froot” captures the electro-pop and new wave rock vibe of the album perfectly, though other tracks, such as “Solitaire,” have a slower, more melodic sound.
Despite the album’s numerous strengths, however, not all 12 of the tracks seem to be completely necessary. Many of them began to sound quite similar after a while, and the eight or nine most enjoyable tracks could have made an exceptional, less bloated album.
Nonetheless, “Froot” is one of the more unique pieces of music released so far this year. It is absolutely worth a listen, particularly if you are excited by authentic throwbacks to the pop style of the 1980s.