Marina & the Diamonds - Hollywood

Tiffany Daniels 10/02/2010

Rating: 4/5

While comparisons to Florence + the Machine are otherwise dubious, Marina & the Diamonds certainly has one thing in common with the redhead; no matter how shameful my addiction, I nevertheless find myself falling for her music hook, line and sinker. Debut single “Hollywood” attests for this love perfectly; from the layered and reverberating synths to the diva pout of “Oh my God! You look just like Shakira, no, no, you're Catherine Zeta…actually, my name's Marina” - this is bittersweet glitterati at its best.

It's clear why 679 Records have chosen the track as Marina's commercial break; the singer's trademark and peculiar vocals don't dominate the song to the point where they might alienate radio-friendly persons, but the philosophy that drives so many of her songs recurs - the system, in particular the exploitation of women, is bad. One of the solid arguments against Marina & the Diamonds is that despite preaching against this wrongdoing, she is actually provoking and indeed funding the system. Some have even gone so far as to compare her to that twerp Ke$ha. That isn't fair for the simple reason that Marina hasn't sold her soul to mainstream hip-hop and her music to an advert. So there.

Although every ounce of my body tells me to do otherwise, I find it's best to listen to “Hollywood” on a basic level. Don't think too much about the music industry and whether it's ethical - it will only spoil the fun, and no one likes a party-pooper - think about the empowering nationalism, near tribal percussion and your tapping feet. Because that is exactly what Marina is good at providing.