As of yesterday, my favorite artist of ALL TIME, Marina, formerly known as Marina and the Diamonds had made a post stating her second album, Electra Heart, had surpassed 500 million streams on Spotify. It’s a very iconic moment because her songwriting and performance is so good and especially underrated. At this point, I’m convinced I streamed a good 250 million times on Spotify, but let me go into further detail about Electra Heart.
The album was released in April 2012 and included Marina creating a whole new persona and doing something she’d never done before. She created the album based on the feelings and the life of this fictional character, “Electra”, and even surrounded the topic of love, but never really touched on the truths of love and even speaking of the topic of fear, just like she had done this year with Love and Fear.
In my opinion, Electra Heart is my second favorite album from Marina. Love and Fear had managed to bring more meaning to me and become my favorite album (the writing and the sounds and OOF). This album is creative in a whole other way and has been the first album I listened to when I first heard of Marina. Some songs are bops and some are beautiful ballads, and literally all of her unreleased tracks and bonus tracks are amazing!
With this celebration of surpassing 500 streams on Spotify, I’m going to go through my thoughts of every song from the whole era, from my most favorite, to the least favorite (there will never be a day I dislike any of the E.H songs, but I do love certain songs more than others).
1. Living Dead:
The bop that shown to be the best song from this era (in my opinion) brings a little bit of 80’s electronica vibes along with lyrics giving you this feeling that you’ve been waiting for love for so long but in the end have nothing but this empty feeling inside (hence you’re literally living dead thanks to a hopeless heart). I love the repetition in the chorus, the way the music sounds, and the ballad-like lyrics mixing with the fast paced beat, and the fact that this song gives me the feeling that I’m going to turn into Electra and become a hopeless romantic.
2. Starring Role:
Yet another sad hour song, but it was well written song about a lover who refuses to put you first and feeling like you’re hidden in this shadow. A ballad that is always worth listening to on a rainy day. It’s another well written song that is beautiful when played acoustic or in it’s original form. It’s slow paced but really punches you with emotion.
3. Buy the Stars:
If you don’t know me, I love space and astrology, so a song about stars will always win my heart. This is an all piano song with Marina spreading her vocal range and harmonizing. The song surrounds living in this darkness and this idea of “buying stars” to bring affection to another, shows that it won’t ever claim the other person trying to love in return (I could be wrong, but that’s how I’ve interpreted it for years). I love a good ballad using just piano (since I play piano from time to time), so this explained why it is up here.
4. Valley of the Dolls:
Fun fact: my favorite book and movie of all time. Based off the idea of the film, Marina was inspired to include the idea female archetypes in her mixed alter ego, and even wrote a song about living a false life and not feeling fulfilled at all, but still trying to fight for this fantasy life. The title Valley of the Dolls describes this peak where you’ve reached for this sort of “American dream” but you’ve gone through these obstacles and have found yourself in this state of being unfulfilled and in disgust. I love the sound, but not as much as the other songs in the era, although I love this song more for the idea and the writing.
When I was a freshman in high school, I remember my singing club rehearsing to sing this song, but it never made the cut to our end of the year performance. Primadonna, to no surprises, was the first song I heard from Marina. This song talks about feeling like this beauty queen and wanting to be spoiled and live this lavish life without shame. Primadonna became a hit after the release and is one of her most known songs. Sure, it gets played so much, but hey, that’s every artist with every hit they release. It is upbeat and a whole new style of performing after her release of The Family Jewels.
THIS WAS THE MOST UNDERRATED SONG OF THE WHOLE E.H ERA AND WE KNOW IT. E.V.O.L is about a lustful relationship and it kind of displays this difference between real love and this idea of love. The way Marina portrays it is kind of in this sense that she’s Electra having these relations and how she feels. I love it for her high pitches in the song and how she managed to make the idea of love so negative and portray it as “evol”.
Radioactive is an aesthetically pleasing music video to watch and what inspired me to be blonde. The song is about how you’re in this relationship and the person you with makes you feel so outgoing and out of control, hence the name. I like the upbeat sounds to the song and how her range fits so well to the song. Also the fashion choices are so good that I want the same outfits, but in pink. It’s my signature color.
8. Sex Yeah:
When I first heard Sex Yeah, I felt weird and thought I would get in trouble for hearing a song that sang the word “sex” repeatedly. Soon, I discovered how Marina wrote about times have changed and women and men have both evolved in terms of their sexuality and gender norms. Hearing “if women were religiously recognized sexually, we wouldn’t have to feel the need to show our ass” has been so life changing. The topic is really nothing to be ashamed of and should be spoken about and history shows that we’ve changed a lot. This is one of my favorite topics in her whole album.
9. Bubblegum Bitch:
This is Marina’s shortest song and another bop. It’s fast paced and kind of about living this heartbreak barbie girl life. It surrounds the topic of young love and it is a very pink song, which I love the most. Plus, it gives us the iconic quote “welcome to the life of Electra Heart”.
One of her most popular songs, and a ballad, the third hit from Marina is a song based off a former relationship and how she felt she lived this false life with said person and knowing that these intimate feelings were nothing but lies. The music video makes it more emotional as some scenes are in black and white and she’s singing directly to the camera and eventually it pans to her in this apartment alone and other scenes showing this feeling of emptiness as she’s walking into a forest. It really hits you in the feels because we come to relate to it at some point.
11. Just Desserts (Feat. Charli XCX):
This was Marina’s only collab with another artist at the time of the E.H era, and it was a revenge song towards an ex. Marina originally recorded her demo and eventually, Charli hopped on the song and made another hidden jewel in music.
12. Lonely Hearts Club:
Also the title of her tour after the release of E.H, L.H.C is about breaking things off with someone and dealing with this loneliness and wanting this sort of closure, introducing the name and whatnot. I love this song for the speed of the song and the line “do you want to be with somebody like me?” It’s a song I love to listen to, but also have no problem skipping. This is also the first song to include a glimpse of fear when it comes to love, especially when she mentions fear of being taken advantage of and feeling like the other person in the song is feeling down because of her. It’s an emotional rollercoaster of a song, but it’s all this crave for love.
13. How to be a Heartbreaker:
This is Marina’s biggest hit until releasing Baby with Clean Bandit, and it’s incredibly catchy. It’s upbeat and it is the biggest rulebook in all of the music industry next to Dua Lipa’s New Rules. Marina describes this book to be about how not to be the one to get hurt but to do the hurting in the end. I recall a time in high school where my ex best friend had me dress like Marina and be a total heartbreaker and lead on my ex boyfriend’s friend and it still makes me cringe to this day, so although I don’t completely agree with breaking hearts and hurting people, but I do stand by girls who refuse to get hurt, especially when they know they’re going to get hurt.
14. The State of Dreaming:
Okay, I loved this song because of the aesthetic. The video displays this 60’s vibe with Marina in Hollywood waves and a red dress while she’s sitting in this large open venue. It’s so classic and the song is very good in terms of writing. I love how she performs the song, but there are songs in this era that still succeed State of Dreaming. However, I feel the sound of this is what completes E.H.
15. Power and Control:
The darkest song of the album surrounding a game played between two lovers, Marina performs explaining how a relationship can be toxic and love is always a tough game to play when one is trying to be the one in “power and in control”. I love the pop beat and her dark and deeper pitch in the song, but I won’t always be listening to the song (tbh I will when one of my exes comes back to mind).
16. Fear and Loathing:
The biggest ballad of the album, Marina sings this tune about regretting her numerous thoughts and archetypes. It’s kind of the end of the E.H era, although it was the first music video that was released from the era. The ending of the song still freaks me out, where it’s just an old Greek song being sung. It’s very well written and vocally strong.
17. Teen Idle:
Teen Idle is another ballad and another dark tune all in one. This one is about feeling the regret of not living up to these dreams of being this teen with fame and feeling like life had made it to this empty feeling with no success. I have to admit, the song is a nice sounding ballad, but I can’t listen to the song often because it does get a little triggering to me. I understand the theme of the song but hearing it so many times has made me get anxious at times.
I love Marina’s bridge in the song to Homewrecker and her monologue in regards to this relation creating the Homewrecker archetype. I loved the monologue, but the music was something I could easily ignore. Homewrecker was an interesting persona to dwell into for a second, but she was the least favorite next to the idle teen.