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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you word of mouth
Thank you word of mouth because without you I would never had sought out the singles and then downloaded this album. This is one of the most catchy, carefree and enjoyable albums I've heard in a while and it's getting many plays on my CD player and iPod. With a voice like a Greco-Cymru Lily Allen fused with an updated Kate Bush and song writing talent to match, Marina's...
Published on 20 April 2010 by Andromeda Descendent

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mariina and the Diamonds - Not as good as Martha and the Muffins
Ever since the introduction of Amazons new rating system it appears that the onus is on being helpful as opposed to critical. Let me therefore profoundly apologize in advance to anyone who reads this review and disagrees with it. DEEP BREATH - I don't like the Family Jewels very much, and I don't think it's brilliant and feel that there are much better "pop albums" out...
Published on 14 Mar. 2010 by Red on Black


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28 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you word of mouth, 20 April 2010
By 
Andromeda Descendent (Tarn Vedra) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Family Jewels (MP3 Download)
Thank you word of mouth because without you I would never had sought out the singles and then downloaded this album. This is one of the most catchy, carefree and enjoyable albums I've heard in a while and it's getting many plays on my CD player and iPod. With a voice like a Greco-Cymru Lily Allen fused with an updated Kate Bush and song writing talent to match, Marina's going to be big in 2010. Most of her songs, including the fantastic Mowgli's Road and Hermit The Frog demonstrate an exuberance and disregard for convention that show genius just on the knife edge of sanity, with lyrics that keep rushing at you like ants on a sugar rush, a verbal pile up looming should they trip. There are some great slower songs too, with I Am Not A Robot and Obsessions bound to get much airtime.

You really need to try this album. Rare that people say this and are right, but you will thank yourself you did.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Marina & The Diamonds - The Family Jewels, 24 Mar. 2010
By 
Paul S. Bateman (Leeds, England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Family Jewels (Audio CD)
Quite simply, i think this is a very underated album. There isn't one track that is bad, with several exceptionally good and i think personally that is a rarity these days.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If only all pop music were this good !, 12 Feb. 2010
By 
T. C. Davies (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Family Jewels (Audio CD)
This is a great debut album, crammed full of instantly catchy pop hooks. I enjoyed this album the first time I heard it, and with repeated listening it just keeps getting better.

I only dip into pop music very occasionally, and it's rare that I find an entire album I enjoy, but you can't beat pop music for an instant sugary hit. This album is an excellent example of pop at it's best. Marina has a unique vocal style and large vocal range, the album is full of memorable tunes, and the production is excellent and rewards repeated listening.

If I manage to find just two more pop albums I enjoy this much within the next 12 months I'd be amazed and overjoyed.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She's A Rainbow, 21 April 2010
By 
N. Messenger "njmessy" (Hong Kong) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Family Jewels (Audio CD)
This was an occasion where I heard a song playing in an HMV store and just had to ask one of the staff who it was. The song in question was "Hollywood" which I fell in love with straight away. I thought it was a male vocal, can you believe that? I thought the song sounded a little bit like something Keane might have written and I thought it was a similar high-pitched male vocalist aspiring to follow in their footsteps, but the sales assistant brought me the CD album and there was pretty, very feminine Marina on the cover. I bought the CD then and there.
I think this is a very good pop album, hence the five stars. There are enough excellent songs to merit five stars in my opinion although (as is pretty much always the case) some seem to work better than others. I recently listened to 'Lungs' by Florence & The Machine and I rate Marina's work much higher. I really like Marina's voice. Florence has that annoying 'warble' that so many popular female vocalists seem to affect. Why?
The songs:

1. Are You Satisfied: Yes, I am thank you. A perfectly crafted pop tune very similar to the feel of 'Hollywood' and a well chosen album opener. Nice touch of strings here and there.

2. Shampain: Interesting title. I think it's a play on 'champagne'. I love the quasi-Prodigy electronic bass with a big Eighties drum beat. A very Eighties feel to the whole song actually. Maria Vidal could have sung this after 'Body Rock.' It would have been a Bananarama classic too...and I mean that in a positive way. This song throws a lot at you: great tunes, great sounds, interesting lyrics. Let's hope that it hasn't exhausted all of the album's ideas.

3. I Am Not A Robot: After the fun first two songs we slow down a little here. The strings return in a more dominant role. A pleasant tune, a pleasant sentiment...what more is there to say? There is a warmth to this song. Don't you think it might have been better if she had kept the song cold and clinical-sounding, more like a 'robot' instead? There would have been a certain irony to it then.

4. Girls: A fully-fledged pop song, all boxes ticked, even a 'Na na na' chorus but wrapped around a little core of spite. Great...although you have a go at 'Girls Aloud' and end up sounding like 'Girls Aloud'...huh?

5. Mowgli's Road: I'm not keen. I don't feel comfortable with the beat to this song. Is she using an uncommon 'time-phrasing' or something? I should really study the technical vocabulary of musical construction. Too many 'cuckoos' anyway.

6. Obsessions: Almost a ballad but then speeds up a little. I suppose you could dance slowly to this but you might feel a bit confused and wonder if you should just sway. Marina's voice comes dangerously close to picking up the aforementioned 'warble.' Why?

7. Hollywood: I just love this. I know that's a poor statement for a review. But just listen to it will you please?

8. The Outsider: A catchy chorus but you might call this song 'derivative-sounding?' It sounds like it could be the product of a number of pop artists so Marina has a bit of a swear to liven it all up. There's a nice little bit of piano in the last third of the song which reminded me a tiny bit of a P.J Harvey song (maybe from her 'Is This Desire?' album).

9. Hermit The Frog: This song is really good fun with a lot of sonic ideas all muddled up rather gracefully together and something lyrically about a 'glass balloon,' which sounds a bit dangerous...which might well be the point.

10. Oh No: The Eighties vibe is back...and it's no bad thing. I think it's the piano that does it. This has the same poppy vibe of tracks 1, 2, 4 and 7 and would do justice as a single.

11. Rootless: A mournful sounding, slower song. Bells crash in the background so you know its mournful. She's rootless. Something brassy-sounding tries to make a noise on this song but doesn't quite make it.

12. Numb: I keep forgetting this song. Then I listen to it again and wonder how did I forget it? A lovely melody and sounding far less doom-laden and over-produced than 'Rootless' before it, although retaining that song's dark melancholy. Actually, Marina probably didn't really need 'Rootless' on this album at all.

13. Guilty: There's a menace and an anxiety to this final song. Marina doesn't finish on an uplifting note. I'm also left feeling very uneasy about what happened to the dog.

So a bright, cheerful-sounding album comes to a close with three darker, more introspective songs. Marina can certainly sail the emotional spectrum but she utilises a wide palette of sounds as well as moods and perhaps this is why in my head I picture this album as something like a rainbow.
Diamonds sparkle with many colours don't they?
Apparently the 'Diamonds' refer to Marina's fans. If so, then I'm a diamond too.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pop, like it should be, 13 Mar. 2010
By 
This review is from: The Family Jewels (Audio CD)
Not much to add to the many other positive reviews of this album. She's going to have a tough time topping this. The tracks Hollywood, I Am Not A Robot and Mowgli's Road are instantly infectious, and it only took a second spin of the CD for me to be completely hooked by the others, which vary from upbeat to morose. Her voice is so strong for such a petite person, and she has an amazing vocal range. Pleasurably unusual lyrics for pop songs too; pop for thinking people, perhaps? Fabulous. In these days of mind-numbing pop objectifying women, her lyrics are a breath of fresh air for pop music. I just hope fame doesn't ruin her. This one's a keeper.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Diamond with Promise, 20 Sept. 2010
This review is from: The Family Jewels (Audio CD)
There is clearly something in the water that trickles down those Welsh valleys that produces more singers than I've had hot dinners. Dame Shirley Bassey and Thomas the Jones became international stars eons ago and even now the well, to stretch an analogy, has not dried up. Since then we have marvelled at `Voice of an Angel' Charlotte Church, had fragile chanteuse Duffy grace us with her presence and now we have Marina Diamandis.

Born to a Greek father and Welsh mother in Abergavenny in the decade of big hair and shoulder pads, she is the latest in a line of Welsh musicians to entertain us with those Celtic vowels, playing under the stage name of Marina and the Diamonds.

From what I gather, the `The Diamonds' bit of her name is not her backing band but represents her fans, so says she, presumably in the same manner as Lady Gaga's `Little Monsters'. Accordingly, the musicians she plays with form a somewhat fluid community but certainly the guys who play with her currently are an exceptionally tight little keyboard-led ensemble who underpin her rather quirky songs with real panache. I'd keep hold of them, if I were you, Marina.

Marina's vocal style is towards the idiosyncratic end of the spectrum being possessed of a pleasingly rich contralto (or possibly mezzo-soprano, what do I know?) with an indefinable touch of the Greek about it which can soar into the heights and back quite effortlessly.

The songs on the album are probably best described as hook-laden pop tunes with overtones of Sparks and Lene Lovitch. In fact, with all this quirkiness going on it is all too easy to believe that it is all a front to catch the media eye and this may be so especially as her songs are designed to give a feelgood vibe. Nevertheless, there is a darker side lurking in the lyrics which gives a glimpse into a potential depth of talent that is not so apparent at first hearing.

I shall be intrigued to see where her career takes her. Now, where did I put that bottled Welsh spring water?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Diamonds Indeed, 22 Feb. 2010
By 
The Wolf (uk) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Family Jewels (Audio CD)
Crikey! It's going to be a bit hard to follow
our host's voluminous (uncredited) introduction
to Ms Diamandis' sparkling debut album but perhaps
a few reflections won't go amiss given my recent
enthusiasm for her thoroughly ripping single release
'Hollywood'. In my brief review of that near-perfect
pop confection I mentioned Mrs Wolf's observation
that our heroine's voice reminded her somewhat of the
redoubtable and unforgetable Lene Lovich. Listening to
'The Family Jewels' in its entirety I can certainly
see mileage in the comparison but Ms Diamandis is
very much her own woman and a fierce new contender.

The deep, fruity warble which first captured my attention
is given full reign across the thirteen fine compositions
(the majority of them self-penned, a few co-written) in
this hugely confident first showing.

That she has a deep affection for eighties electro-pop
is clearly evident but I found my own associations
reaching back even further in time to the surreal,
sonic pandemonium created by Sparks in the early seventies.
(Think 1974's 'Kimono My House' in particular).

By any standard known to man these are good songs.
Strong tunes, big bouncy rhythms and crafty hooks, all
lined-up and ready to wage war with the unbelievers.

It's hard to pick highlights with material as good
as this but tracks deserving special mentions would
have to include 'Shampain' with its whacking great
dance-friendly beat and winning harmonies; the gloriously
GaGa-esque stomperama 'Girls'; the bats-in-the-belfry
barminess of 'Hermit The Frog'; the glimpse of restraint
and fragility on the beautiful 'Numb' and, of course,
the consumately constructed pop anthem 'Hollywood'.

Indulgent? Decorative? Modish? To a degree "Yes" but
there is also a bright and original creative flame
burning at the heart of this vivacious debut album.
I think Ms Diamandis is very probably the real deal
and destined to be with us for a good while yet.

I'm prepared to go the distance if she continues to
produce music as energetic and uplifting as this!

Highly Recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mariina and the Diamonds - Not as good as Martha and the Muffins, 14 Mar. 2010
By 
Red on Black - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Family Jewels (Audio CD)
Ever since the introduction of Amazons new rating system it appears that the onus is on being helpful as opposed to critical. Let me therefore profoundly apologize in advance to anyone who reads this review and disagrees with it. DEEP BREATH - I don't like the Family Jewels very much, and I don't think it's brilliant and feel that there are much better "pop albums" out there (Gorillaz, Vampire Weekend and Yeasayer) Let me stress that if you indeed think it is brilliant or the best thing since "OK Computer" then that's fine with me, clearly my taste is out of synch, I am wrong and you are right and stand to be corrected.

Ms Marina appears from the video above to be a hugely likeable person, she is from my neck of the woods (which is splendid) and her song "I am not a robot" is very hummable, if rather irritating. No doubt she will majestically sweep all in front of her in next years Brit awards and sell by the truck load. Sorry for pointing it out again but "Hollywood" does sound a bit like Shakira and Hermit the Frog sounds like something but I promised not to be rude. The album's production does have a Stock, Aitken and Waterman quality about it which let me add again if you like them that is great. Overall the family jewels just tries to hard. Let me finally add that we live in a democracy and we are allowed to disagree but please be gentle with me!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very impressive debut, 25 Aug. 2010
By 
Neil Wallington "eternal student" (London, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Family Jewels (Audio CD)
I finally succumbed to this album after the single 'I Am Not A Robot' had successfully wormed its way into my subconscious. This album is a a varied, impressive, and assured debut. A lazy point of reference for the current crop of female singer-songwriters (Natasha Khan, Florence Welch, et al) is Kate Bush, but the comparison is peculiarly apt in this case, as Marina Diamandis seems to have made a detailed study of the sound and production of Kate Bush's earlier albums, in particular 'Never For Ever' and 'The Dreaming'. Her vocal gymnastics match Kate Bush on these albums as well. However, these comparisons would be superficial were the production on this album not wedded to quality songwriting. The singles will stand out immediately, but give the album time and the more subtle charms of songs such as 'The Outsider', 'Hermit The Frog', 'Numb' and 'Guilty' will begin to do their work. This album is a riot of colour and imagination, and there is more to these family jewels than mere glitter.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sparkling Debut.., 13 Mar. 2010
By 
Nigel (Worcestershire UK) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Family Jewels (Audio CD)
I First Heard Marina on the Jonathan Ross Saturday Show on Radio 2... The Band performed "Im not a Robot" .. Was very impressed Straight away and jotted down the Name and Headed off to You Tube.. Was Hooked Straight away after Hearing a Few other Songs and Straight away Pre Ordered a a Copy of "The Family Jewels" from Amazon... Been playing it pretty Well Non Stop ever since .. As Has been Mentioned Nearly every Song is a Hit Single.. Lene Lovich and Sparks Song Structures are Evident to Folks that recall that particular Genre.. But Marina has plenty to offer in the way of Writing Sharp Witty Lyrics that are a Breath of Fresh air.. I very much Doubt a better "Pop" Album will Hit the Streets this Year.. Its Great to dance to.. Its a Winner!
"Hermit the Frog" & Numb" are maybe my 2 Favourites but theres no Filler on this album.. Every Track is Great.. Go Buy..
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