10. Marina and the Diamonds ‘Electra Heart’
UK superstar Marina and the Diamonds’ sophomore release ‘Electra Heart’ is a brilliant journey through eletronica, pop, and R&B, tailored with a strange mix of Blondie meets Britney Spears. A slight departure from her rock-influenced debut ‘The Family Jewels’, Marina’s ‘Heart’ features way more pop and glam than its predecessor. “Radioactive”, the album’s buzz single released in September 2011, was helmed by Riri’s staple producers Stargate and features of one of the hardest hitting pop beats in a long time. Despite the fact that most stations are weary of giving British artists primetime radio airplay, most of the uptempto songs (“Bubblegum Bitch”, “Homewrecker”) could become huge hits if ever promoted stateside.
First official single “Primadonna” was released in March 2012 to moderate radio airplay, but its prim video received over 20 million Youtube views to date. I appreciate her fun and flirty approach, but I found the darker, rock/pop songs such as “Lies” (co-written/produced by Diplo) and “Living Dead’ (co-written/produced by Greg Kurstin) to show more overall range and originality. While the “Diamonds” part of her stagename represents the Latin-to-English translation of her given last name (Diamindis), ‘Electra Heart’ shines much brighter than any Riri song ever could.
Why It’s Great: Dark pop originality, new producer collaborations, Greg Kurstin (!!!)
Watch an acoustic version of “Lies” below.