On the 11th, Marina released the highly anticipated fifth studio album, Old dreams in a modern country† The project comes two years after the ambiguous Love + Fear†
In 2019, former Marina and The Diamonds decided to ditch the alternative and indie style they are known for and deliver their melodies to pop producers. This risk resulted in an extremely generic and somewhat controversial work within the fan base† What has not changed are the lyrics, which not only depict the singer’s romantic life, but also form the recurring socio-political commentary in Diamandis’ discography.
And so Marina comes back to our ears. This time, in a more unique tone and with inventive melodies that reference the first project, The family jewels† Social criticism abounds, starting with the song from which the album owes its name. †Old dreams in a modern country‘, or ‘Ancestral Dreams on a Modern Earth,’ reflects on how we take everything for granted. Today life is fuller, our carnal problems are nothing compared to the daily struggles our ancestors went through. In this context, Marina recalls: “we are not here to conform. We are here to look at ourselves and realize we can be the eye of the hurricane”, that is, the power of change in our lives.
The theme stays with “Venus Flytrap† The Welsh producer talks about an increase in self-esteem that, while making her safer and more powerful, doesn’t detract from the kindness with which she sees the world. She has “the beauty, has the intelligence, has the strength, controls the reins” and so must “be crazyHowever, nothing in this world can change it. And still indoctrinates the fans: “why be a garden flower (‘Wallflower’), when you can be a carnivorous plant (‘Venus Fly Trap’†
The third track on the album is “The world of man† Basically it’s a feminist anthem where Marina says she doesn’t want to live in a man’s world, that is, a sexist world, where all the female success we see is somehow shaped by patriarchal forces. For this purpose, the example of Marilyn Monroe is given, “Marilyn’s bungalow was number seven, in a pink palace, where men turned her into a legend, that she belonged to a sheik, who murdered thousands of gay men† And it also refers to the Inquisition,”Centuries ago you burned me at the stake because you thought I was a witch, but today you call me a whore.”
Probably the best track on the album,”clear the poison“is a sound”cradled”, very energetic and with sudden tempo changes. The variation from fast and intense to melodic and smooth leaves us listening, not knowing what is about to happen. Lyrically it’s just perfect. Social commentary from a personal, impersonal point of view and Marina still finds time to give nature a voice. †Hand nature on the phone: ‘what are you doing? Don’t forget I’m your home. Viruses come, fires burn, until people realize they are not my master†
This song has a subject in common with “New America† In the previous state:racism and misogyny nothing is hidden capitalism has made us poor and god forgive america for all wars† Already in the “New America”, the singer talks about the social injustices and historical problems of the “land of the free and brave† Firearms legislation, police brutality and destruction of the agricultural and/or food industry are some of the themes depicted in this sound. Sonically, the string tones heard at the opening of a news program seem to indicate what is about to be said as important. A strong and determined rhythm, just like the lyrics and the beautiful voice that tells the story.
Another major highlight goes to “Very emotional people” which, despite being more personal, returns to the problematic society that does not allow Marina to sleep. Listening to this song is like receiving a hug in a moment of stress. The tear will fall and the shivers are certain. Diamandis addresses us – the audience – directly and says “you don’t have to hide it, you know you can tell me how you feel but i’ve never seen you cry† It also reflects on the social pressures that don’t make men cry, are called weak, leading to the suppression of emotions that, deep down, are part of our design. †I know the pain you feel, the weight you carry, but you can free yourself from the suffering you have in your heart.‘, he assures. The powerful ballad is accompanied by an incredible beat and an angelic voice that, effectively, hits hard inside.
From here, the songs move to a more personal level, talking about Marina’s last romantic relationship that ended after five years. She looks back and realizes the signs have always been there. In “flowers”, she recalls that her partner did not commit enough to the relationship, which was not to give her flowers on special occasions. is at “Bye”, the last track on the album, tells how she now realizes that the person she was during the relationship was not herself. This song is sung over a simple piano that is abruptly interrupted at one point and gives way to Marina’s powerful and contrasting voice.
Marina composed all of the songs on the album completely on her own and the album was produced by her and only two other producers. Old dreams in a modern country it is about overcoming our pain, it is social analytic, poetic, cohesive and takes us on an exciting journey through the incomparable mind of one of the most versatile artists of our time. This album is everything you look for in a Marina project.