Marina - 'Love'

7/10

Surprise releases are all the craze these days, as are double albums, so it would only make sense that someone would want to combine the two and that is exactly what we have from Marina in the form of her fourth full-length 'Love'. Originally announced as 'Love + Fear', her long-awaited new album split across two releases, the frontwoman has surprised us all by delivering the first half of her new record in advance, giving us a strong indication as to what to expect from both releases and cementing her as one of this country's most enigmatic pop starlets.

From the start, it seems like business as usual for Marina. While shaking off her formative "& The Diamonds" moniker, it feels that she hasn't chosen to move on much creatively, but instead lets us understand that this is definitely a solo project as she returns to the soaring and haunting vocals with diverse pop production of her previous releases. Yet while it feels like she never left us, she has stripped back a lot of the fanfare from her previous releases, sharing a collection that allows her to sit front and centre of this new release and showcase her more refined style.

Given that this is 'Love' from the 'Love + Fear', it certainly feels that we are getting the happier side upfront. Vibrant and fresh throughout, this initial portion reintroduces the singer to us in a strong and confident way. It may not have that same instant appeal of her formative years, but definitely looks to excite and captivate as it plays.

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