Showing posts with label melanie martinez. Show all posts
Showing posts with label melanie martinez. Show all posts

Sunday, August 16, 2015

video review: 'cry baby' by melanie martinez

You know, it's funny, the comments have been, 'Yeah, we didn't expect you to like this, but we wanted you to cover it anyway.' So there's that.

Next up, Frank Turner - stay tuned!

album review: 'cry baby' by melanie martinez

I've been getting requests to cover this artist since 2014.

And if I'm judging at all by the cavalcade of requests begging for me to cover Melanie Martinez, the hype has reached critical mass and it'd be questionable if I didn't cover her... even though she's never had a charting single off of any material that wasn't from The Voice. Yeah, for those of you who don't know, Melanie Martinez was once on that overexposed show and got eliminated midway through, and yet to judge by her buzz and following nowadays she's easily eclipsed many of the winners, thanks mostly to viral success off of her EP last year and her videos. And after a few listens, I got the impression she was the sort of artist I wanted to like more than I did, with the striking lyrics, shattered porcelain persona, brittle instrumentation, and creepy videos. 

But the more I listened to Melanie Martinez, the more I was convinced that the image was eclipsing the actual music, which really wasn't as interesting as the ideas behind it. I didn't think she was a bad singer - somewhere between Lana Del Rey at her most tolerable and Natalia Kills - but she wasn't great, and a lot of her instrumentation and production didn't impress me. I could go a step further and say that most of her image and style both Marina & The Diamonds and Kimbra did with better actual music, and if I were to admit I listen to j-pop or k-pop I'd say that Kyary Pamyu Pamyu is considerably weirder - and better - but the larger issue is that the whole faux-lolita to emphasize girlish creepiness just doesn't appeal to me whatsoever. And yeah, I definitely know I'm not the audience for any of this, but at the same time I wasn't buying into the hype machine.

That said, when you get down to the songwriting, outside of some minor technical issues I'll admit Martinez has ambition and big ideas, and she's got enough personality to make up for a lot. I was significantly more skeptical when I heard it was a concept album - which is certainly bold for a pop record, and even moreso for a debut album - but I figured this would at least be interesting, even if it was a trainwreck. So what did we get with Cry Baby?