There's nothing like the feeling you get when some artist that you've never noticed before reaches out and tugs at your soul. Time stands still, and the only thing that matters is to find that replay button, that rewind button or just a piece of paper and a pen so you can jot down a few lines of lyrics and find out who that was on the radio the second you come home. Now and then, the Internet is really your friend.
Marina and the Diamonds did just that to me today. Sure, I've heard some of the songs before - I remember that now. But it was only today that a couple of songs that I haven't heard before popped up on my random playlist. They all came from The Family Jewels album, and after hearing the first lines of "Numb," I was hooked and listened to the whole album three times in a row, something an album hasn't made me do since Band of Horses brought the Everything All the Time album to my attention.
Marina and the Diamonds are hypnotic, and I'm still wondering if it's the lyrics that do it or if it's simply Marina's ability to use her voice in registers - and between registers - that simply aren't accessible to the average human. At times, it's impossible not to wonder if she is human at all, donning a voice that will remind most people of massive talents like Florence Welch (of Florence and the Machine) and even musical geniuses like Martha Wainwright. I have to agree with one Amazon.com reviewer who stated: "I haven't enjoyed a CD this much since Florence and the Machine's Lungs from last year."
The theme of The Family Jewels' lyrics is fame, and the rise to and fall from it. The cover art shows a plastic Marina, signaling the group's view of so-called stars, and the illusion that is the limelight, the red carpet and the lightning flashes of paparazzi cameras. Lines throughout the lyrics remind the listeners of it, especially in "Numb" and "I Am Not A Robot."