Marina and the Diamonds: Froot

Credit: Charlotte Rutherford

Welsh pop artist Marina Diamandis' third album is her most revealing and sure-footed yet. Diamandis  (a.k.a. Marina and The Diamonds) comes across as more mature and sincere than on previous efforts like her conceptually challenged 2012 LP Electra Heart. On that album, she worked with a slew of Top 40 producers, ending up with a wobbly pastiche; here, she uses only producer David Kosten, and did all the writing herself. Kosten, who produced all three of Natasha Khan's masterful albums as Bat For Lashes, makes his presence felt on the soulful opener "Happy," where Diamandis' vocals are plaintive and powerful. The groovy title track works itself into a tizzy of dizzying disco, while electro-pop insta-earworm "Blue" could play well next to any current pop hit. But the record drags from there, with increasingly superfluous songs and cringey lyrics. Diamandis' attitude falls flat on the slut-shaming anthem "Better Than That" and the misanthropic "Savages." In the end, Diamandis can't quite shape Froot into a coherent vision.