Jun 11, 2021
By Emma Goad
Marina (full name Marina Diamandis) has returned with a fifth studio album that is dripping with maturity and raises a middle finger to the old Marina and the Diamonds brand. Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land brings lyrics of maturity, female empowerment, and self-reclamation through electro-pop.
The 10-track album storms open with its title track, setting the tone for the rest of the record, that being a not-so-subtle wakeup call to the rest of the world. Marina sings, “You don’t have to be like everybody else/You don’t have to fit into the norm/You are not here to conform.” This is essentially her message on this album, with upbeat screw-you-to-the-establishment songs like “Venus Fly Trap” and “Man’s World,” which bring us right back to the message she worked to convey so effortlessly on her 2012 album Electra Heart. The sound of this entire album is at once nostalgic, defiant, and endearing. “I Love You But I Love Me More” is a steady rock ballad to Marina herself, a reinstatement of who she is, not who she was.
The first half of the album is intoxicating—it is danceable and full of fun energy. The second half of the album is all heartbreak and slow piano-filled ballads carried by Marina’s whimsical and hollowing vocals. “Pandora’s Box” and “Flowers” require repeated listens to really feel the intention of the lyrics, while also maintaining the flow of the record. The topics throughout are raw and unfiltered—something Marina does extremely well as an artist; always has and will likely continue to do so. (http://www.marinaofficial.co.uk)
Author rating: 8/10
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