Review: Marnie – Crystal World

Shortest review ever – fucking. extraordinary.

Oh, sorry, you want more? Context? Depth? Sigh. Alright.

Taking a step away from Ladytron, lead vocalist Helen Marnie (along with fellow Ladytronite Daniel Hunt as producer) has gifted us with as clean, lovely and melodically beautiful an electronic album as has been released this year. A simpler, more straightforward effort than the last Ladytron effort, Gravity the Seducer, Crystal World is pure pop confection but not in any kind of disposable or tossable way. To produce pop music this good, this unsullied, takes staggering talent.

The album rises on the strength of the song craft (though the production is surprisingly strong as well for what felt like an offshoot project at the time of its conception). Clever key changes or an errant note that catches the listener off guard, or slinky, sneaky melodies, harmonies or vocal dips, clever moments like the ascending, bordering-on-urgent vocal build toward the end of the chorus of “We Are the Sea” – it all conspires to create something so smart, so fun to listen to and so addictive it crashes through the speakers and shakes you by the lapels.

It’s easily the most vocally pretty Marnie has ever been. In fact the totality of the album feels “pretty”. The emotion Marnie gets out of each track is distinct from the more robotic persona of the Ladytron collective (compare anything on this album to say, “Seventeen”…). It shows a degree of vocal talent only hinted at before. It’s a lovely, terrific discovery. From start to finish, the album is a treat, whether the traditional pop of “The Hunter” or the throbbing, propulsive “Sugarland” or the haunting, sad, “Laura” – she jumps from strength to strength. An absolute highlight on the electronic calendar.

Watch: The Hunter

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2 Responses to “Review: Marnie – Crystal World”

  1. Crystal World is fantastic. I’m glad that you like this album too.

  2. A suggestion: add also the tag Ladytron to this post.

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