CRYBABY IS DEAD! Or is she redecorated? I am unsure, the lore is confusing for an ADHD person like myself… Either way Melanie Martinez’s new album Portals is SO GOOD.
Martinez reinvents her whole aesthetic both musically and visually with this album, leaving behind the schoolgirl look for a fantasy fairy look that shows how truly terrifying the fae can be. Along with this, many of the nursery rhymes and almost childlike pop influences have been dropped in favor of this hyper-pop and techno-infused sound with a touch of classical interments and vocal reverbs creating a whole new world for Martinez to play with.
The best examples of the embrace can be seen in the songs “THE CONTORTIONIST” and “FAERIE SOIRÉE” which seem to lean most into this new aesthetic. But the influence of this world can be seen throughout the album giving it a unique sound that still feels distinctly Melanie Martinez.
The stand outs of the album for me have to be “VOID” and “EVIL”. For “VOID”, this song exemplifies the struggle an artist may have while their old work is so tied to their brand as a whole; she wants to move past her previous era of music and art. While “EVIL” feels like a natural end to the album’s story of a toxic relationship, showing how hard it can be to move on from someone who has hurt you so much with the lines “No, I won’t defend you to all my friends” and “I won’t be mistreated, Please call me conceited” hitting hard.
As a fan of Melanie Martinez’s since she was on NBC’s The Voice I was not disappointed with this album. My critiques are that some of the songs feel very close to her old aesthetic like “NYMPHOLOGY” and when you are trying to move away from that it can make it hard. Also, the album puts a majority of the ballet-type songs in the middle making it hard to concentrate through that part for me and I wish they were spread out a little more.
Overall 8/10 weird fairy eyes for Melanie Maerinez’s Portals.