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The Family Jewels CD

4.6 out of 5 stars 145 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Audio CD (22 Feb. 2010)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: CD
  • Label: 679 Recordings Ltd.
  • ASIN: B002ZTIILC
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (145 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 14,523 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
  • Sample this album Artist (Sample)
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Product Description

Product Description

The Family Jewels is the debut album from Welsh/Greek pop-songstress Marina Diamandis, more commonly known as Marina And The Diamonds. Her quirky songs show off both Marina's eccentric personality and her unique voice, which sets The Family Jewels apart from the other albums released by solo, female artists, which often don't have the depth of originality possessed by Marina.

BBC Review

In pop terms Marina Diamandis is rather unusual. Not because she lacks the genuine weirdness and fearless invention of Micachu (although she does), or the songwriting ability of Florence Welch (although she does). No. She’s strange because she appears to have based her entire singing style on the odd rhythms and insane lurches of Sparks’ This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the Both Of Us.

In small doses Marina can be magnificent. Her first major label single, Mowgli’s Road, includes insane lyrics about cutlery (“Ten silver spoons coming after me”), the beats and pacing of Green Day’s Hitchin’ a Ride, and Tori Amos-ish baroque soundscapes and wild animal noises. It’s as much Lord of the Flies as The Jungle Book. Guilty is just as interesting: bursts of harpsichord, beats more at home on a Burial record, looped background vocal motifs and perhaps Marina’s best vocal performance on the album. And recent single Hollywood may sound as bombastic and ridiculous as Arnie driving a Humvee through a plate glass window, but it’s superbly enjoyable.

The consistently diverting changes in style across the album are fine – the wonky 80s shoulder-pad pop of The Outsider is nothing like anything else here, for example. But over 13 songs of Sparks-voice and many similar staccato piano riffs listeners may feel bludgeoned by Marina and her slightly overbearing presence. On Oh No! she sings, “Don’t do love, don’t do friends / I’m only after success, don’t need a relationship.” Then there’s the opener, Are You Satisfied: “It’s not my problem / is my problem / that I never am happy / my problem is my problem on how fast I will succeed.” Ambition and talent is useful, but a having a massive ego and being friendless is not. Hopefully she’s just singing in character.

Judging by the auspicious critical and commercial reception to Hollywood, there will be many who find a great deal to love about Marina and her whacky voice; but there will be just as many who despise her. A tiny minority may be indifferent, but like Mika, the male act whose songs sound most like those on The Family Jewels, the Abergavenny-born singer will mostly polarise opinion. --Lou Thomas

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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Format: 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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Format: 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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Format: 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.
Read more ›
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Format: 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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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is an amazing debut album. Every song has a really unique style and sound to it. Having only been a fan of Marina for a couple of months I really love how every album of hers is different but its still Marina. I just love the fact she writes all her own songs not many people do that in the pop industry and I really admire her for it.
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Wow love Marina and think she's a delight. I bought this when it was first out and lost it so went and bought it again. It makes me sad she's not too well known as I think she has the potential to be a star. My favourite album so far will be Electra Heart but this has loads of fun pop loving tracks with bits of tongue in cheek love it
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Absolutely love it. Bought this cause it includes her song "Numb." That is one of my favourite songs ever. I love a lot of her songs. A lot of depth and thought in the lyrics. Fantastic voice and unique.
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