Mowgli’s Road

Here’s a relatively new discovery. Marina and the Diamonds might have caught some comaparisons to Florence and the Machine, but semantically similar stage names aside, they’re both young British women with big voices who otherwise have nothing in common. Marina Diamandis indeed has an amazing voice, and a talent for big, hooky pop songs (and she’s a cutie.) Those are things that could potentially carry her into the broadest realm of wide success, but fortunately her pop sensibility is leavened with humor and eccentricity. No question, she is equipped to be a fembot pop star alongside Katy Perry. But she is has more in common with singers like Robyn, Alex Winston, and Elle King. All of these women are working in an unabashedly pop format, with no shame for their love of hooks, beats, and sing-along choruses. But they are unwilling to sacrifice their intelligence and distinct personal perspective for a wider appeal. And there’s no reason to. Well produced, polished pop songs can and should be capable of carrying meaningful lyrical content, or be expressions of sincere emotion, or even aspire to genuine artistic vision. I don’t know if Diamandis has the aspiration to be called a serious artist, but she certainly knows how to tweak pop conventions towards the surreal and absurd.

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