Marina & The Diamonds - Radioactive

A good pop song, and an even better single.

Label: 679 Recordings

Rating: 7

Marina Diamandis has dreamt up quite the concept for her second album. ‘Electra Heart’ is due to explore everything she is the ‘antithesis’ of. The album arrives sometime next year, and revolves around the titular character who ‘stands for the corrupt side of American ideology… basically that’s the corruption of yourself’. It would appear Marina is still ‘obsessed with the mess that’s America,’ but in other aspects, the first single from her new album shows she’s moved on.

Much of last year’s ‘The Family Jewels’ album consisted of piano-led songs, so for Marina to completely change tack and write a thumping electro-pop song like ‘Radioactive’ could be considered quite a departure for her. The trouble with writing a song like this, however, is that it can often sound uninspired, or even like a carbon copy of the songs that are filling up the charts.

‘Radioactive’ comes perilously close to that sort of territory; at least on this outing, the idiosyncratic approach to songwriting that characterised Marina’s earlier material has been abandoned, and the result is an opinion-splitting track that will be called ‘generic’ by some. If not for its arresting hook, and lyrics like, ‘My blood is radioactive / My heart is nuclear, and that’s all that I fear / I’m heading for a meltdown,’ this would be the sound of Marina playing it extremely safe. This is a good pop song, yes, and an even better single, but she can definitely do better.