Best of the B Sides: “Oh No!”

When it comes to pop music, the Brits have us Yanks beat. Big time. Marina Diamandis (better known as Marina and the Diamonds) has been such a success in America since she dropped her 2012 album Electra Heart. And Electra Heart, while a tad long, is a stellar album. That being said, Diamandis’ debut album The Family Jewels (2010) is delightfully wacky and, in my opinion, much stronger than her sophomore album. The Family Jewels was popular in niche American audiences and it has some rather successful femme rock/pop tracks that really stand out against American top 40. If she was known for anything in America back in 2010, it was the album’s standout track “Are You Satisfied?“, so for this week I’m pointing out the equally awesome track “Oh No!” from the same album.

“Oh No!” has all the elements that run through The Family Jewels – a bit of rock, a lot of pop, some quirk, and really fabulous musicality. It’s got good bounce and pop vibes, but listen to those drums. Pretty impressive for a pop song. “Oh No!” also isn’t afraid to be weird. Diamandis has a unique voice and she plays that to her advantage, not minding that she doesn’t sound like an autotuned doll. It adds a touch of authenticity that’s difficult to find in pop, and that’s where the Brits win, hands down.

Diamandis also has a unique fascination with the idea of American fame and Hollywood glamour. Electra Heart is completely about desperate American fame-seekers, and there are tastes of that feeling on The Family Jewels. It’s really excellent satire, and she sings these lyrics with a smirk, so in the end, Marina’s the one laughing.

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