Since her 2010 debut, The Family Jewels, powerhouse Welsh singer Marina Diamandis, who records under the stage name Marina and the Diamonds, has been making smart eclectic pop music often coupled with a Hollywood-glam image that’s been compared to her friend Lana Del Rey. Marina and the Diamonds’ second album Electra Heart, was assisted by A-list pop producers like Benny Blanco and Diplo. But with her third album, Froot, she took full control, writing every lyric herself; the result was her first U.S. top ten album. Now, her music is shifting back to radio-ready dance pop. Recording as Marina (minus the Diamonds), she’s teamed up with UK electro-pop act Clean Bandit and Latin-pop star Luis Fonsi for “Baby.”
Over an uptempo, guitar-flecked track, Marina theatrically paints a vivid picture of a break-up she’s struggling to power through: “Standing here in an empty room, I saw you there and my blood ran cold,” she sings. “Take me back to that long September / Don’t know how I ever let you go.” Yet, she describes what could be a melancholy moment with an air self-possession and even satisfaction, fitting the down-to-earth, less glammy new image she began exploring on Froot. The lyrics mesh into the song’s bubbly production to disguise the pointed heartbreak in its hook, “Hard to say it’s over, but I’m already someone else’s baby,” and Fonsi adds a verse in Spanish, which contrasts with Marina’s silvery vocals to give the track a tight, convivial feel. It’s a new high-point for an artist ready to move into the pop forefront.