Review: ‘LOVE+FEAR’ worth 3-year wait

Singer Marina creates summer anthems

Courtesy of Atlantic Records UK.

Courtesy of Atlantic Records UK.

Welsh singer Marina, formerly known as Marina and the Diamonds, has finished releasing the anticipated two-part album “LOVE+FEAR.” The first part of the combined album, “LOVE,” was released on Thursday, April 4 followed by “FEAR” on Friday, April 26. In comparison to previous albums, “LOVE+FEAR” carries a more serious tone that is discovered early in the album.

Marina has fully dropped her teen-pop persona, Marina and the Diamonds, in this two-part album, although she began to stray away from the persona when her third studio album “Froot” was released in 2015. What differentiates “Froot” from Marina’s most recent work is the new level of maturity. The playful sound of “Froot” and her prior albums was a successful era in her career. The catchy and well-written music garnered loyal fans, so those same loyal fans anticipated the new mature sound.

Marina worked with English band Clean Bandit and Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi for the single “Baby.” The song was released as a single for Clean Bandit’s album “What is Love?” on Thursday, Nov. 8, 2018 and is also included in “LOVE.” Marina first worked with the band in 2015 on the single “Disconnect.” Both songs have a catchy, electronic sound, which is what Clean Bandit is known for. Although, the lyrics are quite different; in “Disconnect” Marina sings about cutting ties with those around her for her own good, while in “Baby” Marina deals with a love triangle. Both songs are replayable and “Baby” is the perfect summer anthem.

“Handmade Heaven” is the lead single for the album and was the first song fans received. Released on Friday, Nov. 8, 2018, “Handmade Heaven” set an expectation of a melodramatic sound for the upcoming album. The single is emotional, as Marina sings about coming from a dark past to a place she feels more comfortable. The song carries a tune similar to songs from her prior albums but that quickly changes when Marina sings the chorus. “Handmade Heaven” is a perfect example of the new mature sound Marina wants to have with the album.

Although, not every song is as serious and emotional as “Handmade Heaven.” “Orange Trees,” the third track of the album, carries a more upbeat sound and reminds listeners of past album “Froot” due to mentions of fruit. “Orange Trees” was also a single released prior to the album and is a perfect summer song. Marina does an amazing job at creating feel-good songs listeners can enjoy over and over again.

Marina returns to a serious tone in “True” and “To Be Human,” yet both songs deal with contrasting subjects. “True” is meant to be a body positive song fans can listen to to make them feel more confident. Starting with a hypnotic beat, the song gives the impression that it is going in a total different direction, but then turns into an upbeat self-power anthem. “To Be Human” is a song about Marina’s view of society and events which have been taking place. Marina does a wonderful job at giving her songs emotion listeners are able to feel accompanied by lyrics, which are a testament to the talent Marina has.

“LOVE+FEAR” was worth the wait. “LOVE” on its own was a wonderful piece, so fans wondered if she was going to be able to release another part and make it equally as exceptional as “LOVE” and it was. “LOVE+FEAR” deserves 5 out of 5 stars for the artist’s new sound. Marina created an almost hour-long album filled with well-written lyrics and brilliant sounds, which is difficult to accomplish.