If you can’t tell, I adore Marina and the Diamonds, and I am pretty sure I could have justified every one of her songs to be on this list; but I tried to restrain myself. I mean, the list was originally supposed to be only 10 songs, but that clearly got out of hand when I kept looking at the track listing for her three albums. All in all, the queen of indie pop has not ceased to amaze me. After seeing her in concert, I can say she is one hell of a performer, and I encourage you all to if you ever get the chance to see a true diamond shine. Covering all three “eras” of the pop princess’s breadth of work, here are the 13 best Marina and the Diamonds songs.
Honorable Mentions: Literally all of them
Savages – Froot
There is beauty in darkness, and that is exactly what this song is. Macabre and poignant, “Savages” ponders the truth of humanity. Are we just some beast hiding under the facade of picket fences and wedding rings, learning how to crawl? Every day we turn on the news or read a paper and are instantly inundated with the atrocities of this world. Rape, murder, lies, deceit, savage intentions; it’s inescapable. But some individuals like to pretend we are all safe behind our manicured lawns.
I’m not the only one who
Finds it hard to understand
I’m not afraid of God
I am afraid of Man
Besides this song being beautiful in its own melodic and lyrical way, the social message is just extremely prevalent. Every word of this song utters a philosophical reflection about our current society. School and public shootings have become far too familiar to us all. The true fear in this world is in every single one of us. Marina ponders how we have gotten to this point in our “evolution.” Has something so deep inside of us finally buckled and come apart within our psyche, or are we truly just barbarous creatures with only one prerogative? Self-preservation. In the end, no one really has the answer, but with this song, Marina has brought such a dark, serious subject to the forefront of our minds. What are our true faces behind our masks?
Is it a human trait, or is it learned behavior
Are you killing for yourself, or killing for your savior?
Lies – Electra Heart
I’m not entirely sure who broke Marina’s heart, but I am completely confident that he is crazy. But I cannot be mad that such a gorgeous, melancholy song came from it. Its alright, Marina. You know we all love you!
You’re too proud to say that you’ve made a mistake
You’re a coward ’til the end
I don’t wanna admit that we’re not gonna fit
No, I’m not the type that you like
Why don’t we just pretend?
Teen Idle – Electra Heart
Oh, our youth with ill-gotten memories, sorrowful reflections, and insurmountable desires. Being a teenager, for me, was one big desire. I want to be this, that, funny, liked, and the list goes on. As paradoxical as it was, I wanted it all. I wanted to follow every possible road life had for me. I wanted to be my idiosyncratic self, and I wanted to be nothing like who I was.
I wanna be a virgin pure
A 21st century whore
I want back my virginity
So I can feel infinity
To me, Marina put a finger on this feeling of impermanence and confusion. She touches on the desire to live unencumbered, to internalize the eternal party, to live like those “teenagers” you see on the silver screen.
I wanna drink until I ache
I wanna make a big mistake
I want blood, guts and angel cake
I’m gonna puke it anyway
Hollywood – The Family Jewels
You were right! “Hollywood” really did infect my brain, Marina! Ah, Hollywood, all its glitz, glam, and garbage. I think it is safe to say we are all completely enamored in Hollywood and its warped ideals. Just like Marina sings, we want to be kissed in the rain and have our live fit the contrived sense of a movie scene. In a world full of hollowed Instagram models and capricious socialites, be a Marina!
A fat security making place for me
Soon as I touch down in old L.A.
He said, “Oh, my God, you look just like Shakira!
No, no, you’re Catherine Zeta.”
“Actually, my name’s Marina.”
Happy – Froot
At one point or another, we have felt alone. Whether we were alone in isolation or a crowded room, we were alone nonetheless. To those that have not found their other half, partner, husband, wife, lover, whatever you crave, there is happiness for you yet, without finding it in another.
So now you know, you know it all
That I’ve been des-desperately alone
I haven’t found the one for me
But I believe in divinity
This song, in my opinion, would have been a perfect closer to the album because it is this slow, melodic crescendo of a song that builds you up and empowers you as her lyrics soar. I’ve found what I have been looking for in this song: satisfaction in myself.
I believe in possibility
I believe someone’s watching over me
And finally I have found a way to be
Happy, happy, happy
The State of Dreaming – Electra Heart
I love a song that can be so upbeat, catchy, and infectious, with such, well, sad lyrics. For a good period of my life, I was living in a contrived state of what I thought my life should be, feigning my role in a mechanized play.
If only you knew my dear,
How I live my life in fear
If only you knew my dear,
How I know my time is near
And did I mention the song is just utterly catchy? It’s hard to write a song with a purpose; it’s hard to write a song that is infectious. It’s even harder to do both, but, for me, Marina never fails.
Blue – Froot
I do not know how this song was not one of the first singles off the album. It is by far one of my favorites from Froot, with its effervescence and 80s-like pop sound. Each and every time that I hear this song, I cannot help but do the little shoulder dance that she does in the video when the beat drops.
No, I don’t love you
No, I don’t care
I just want to be held when I’m scared
And all I want is one night with you
Just cause I’m selfish
I know it’s true
Buy The Stars – Electra Heart
To me, this song reminds me slightly of “Teen Idle,” with its sorrowful, thoughtful tone. Marina touches on some similar topics like loneliness, while crafting such a soothing, ethereal song.
Oh we don’t own our heavens now
We only own our hell
Can’t Pin Me Down – Froot
No one likes being told who to be or what to say. And that is what Marina makes abundantly clear with this song. On top of being an incredibly fun, spunky song, “Can’t Pin Me Down” just asserts Marina as the bad ass queen we all known her to be.
Do you really want me to write a feminist anthem
I’m happy cooking dinner in the kitchen for my husband
Living Dead – Electra Heart
Macabre and dark. They are beguilingly entrancing words. Humans have an obsession with the morbid and grotesque, just look at our fascination with “American Horror Story” and basically every movie with some facet of the story being a tragedy. Marina creates this sort of at-times-light and at-times-heavy song, which immediately ingrained itself in my mind after hearing it. After all, we are all living a little dead.
I haven’t lived life
I haven’t lived love
Just bird’s eye view
From the sky above
How to be a Heartbreaker – Electra Heart
Apparently there are only four rules to be a heart breaker, but I am pretty sure they do not work out that well unless you’re drop-dead gorgeous and Marina herself. This is one of the first songs that I heard by Marina, and it made me fall in love with the pop princess because it is such a silly, energetic, entertaining song.
Boys they like the look of danger
We’ll get him falling for a stranger, a player
Singing I lo-lo-love you
At least I think I do!
Homewrecker – Electra Heart
Hey, at least the song is honest! Maybe her life is a mess, but she is pretty damn sure she looks good while being said mess. This song sort of addresses the anti-fairy tale, the “happy-never-after.”
Girls and their curls and their gourmet vomit
Boys and their toys and their six inch rockets
We’re all very lovely ’til we get to know each other
As we stop becoming friends and we start becoming lovers
I Am Not A Robot – The Family Jewels
Spoiler alert: none of us are robots. We all have feelings, despite how jaded some are with theirs. I love this song because it sort of deconstructs the “devoid of emotion” image that some people try to don. We are all terrifyingly adept at lying to ourselves and masking our true feelings. This song just calls us all out on our bluffs.
You’ve been acting awful tough lately
Smoking a lot of cigarettes lately
But inside, you’re just a little baby, oh.
It’s okay to say you’ve got a weak spot
You don’t always have to be on top
Better to be hated than loved, loved, loved for what you’re not