Featured peformers: Marina (vocals, writer), Mat Maitland (sleeve). Released 22 February 2010 on 679 (catalog no.

Just as you know that sooner or later the female singer who tends to the heavily-melismatic-Waaaah!-Bodyform! The Lovich comparison seems fitting not because anything on The Family Jewels sounds especially like her 1979 smash Lucky Number – rather than taut new-wave guitars, it's based around piano, decorated with frantically arpeggiating synthesisers, electro bass, thumping Adam and the Ants drums, the occasional touch of Auto-Tune – but because of the panoply of vocal tics Diamandis applies over the course of the album. © 2020 Guardian News & Media Limited or its affiliated companies. Marina and the Diamonds The Family Jewels (679) Buy it from Insound In pop music, the best artists are the ones that keep it fun and hold your attention. If, as we’re told, this is the sound of the future, it’s slightly concerning that it appears to be a sanitised version of La Roux’s brittle, fractured synths. It’s a worthy tradition that arguably reached its zenith in the 1980s, where Adam Ant, ABC and Madness amongst others … Diamandis has a strong ­melodic facility that expresses ­itself in ­indelible choruses. The Lovich comparison seems fitting not because anything on The Family Jewels …

Certainly, you could argue that it's equally predictable. The latter turns out to have less to do with music than Diamandis's half-Greek, half-Welsh background, which seems a shame: Aphrodite's Child's stock-in-trade was lengthy songs about the ­imminent apocalypse sung in a tremulous warble, which is something you don't get too much of in the charts these days. It's also counterproductive: the closer she gets to herniating herself trying to convince you that you're listening to a crazy avant-garde ­artist making pop music by accident, the more convinced you become that she's a canny operator writing pop songs and then dressing them up in a multicoloured afro wig and glasses with eyeballs on springs.

Such are the dangers of trying a little too hard. As the chords rise triumphantly behind it, the final note droops dejectedly: it's a little thing, but it's more powerful than all the album's ­amateur dramatics put ­together.

As much as she’d like us to believe she’s some kind of individualistic trail-blazer, Counter-intuitively, it’s when Diamandis really lets go and turns the crazy up to eleven that It seems these are the exceptions rather than the rules, sadly. Here, however, 'The Family Jewels' reached 138 on Billboard, leaving her as a relative unknown. All rights reserved.

It’s a worthy tradition that arguably reached its zenith in the 1980s, where Adam Ant, ABC and Madness amongst others did their bit to keep the charts boredom-free. 825646836253; CD). The ­lovely delicacy of I Am Not a Robot's tune is easy to miss when there's a woman doing Dalek voices over the top of it. The Family Jewels is the debut studio album by Welsh singer Marina Diamandis, released under the stage name Marina and the Diamonds. This is a shame, considering that she has released quite an exciting debut with this album. There's no doubting that Marina Diamandis can write great pop songs.

These variously include a bleating vibrato, animal ­impersonations, shrieking, doing funny voices – ­Cockney geezer, drawling American, mannered posho, take-me-to-your-leader robot, Frank Spencer, Jimmy Saville and so on – and the reliable watch-out-­everybody-I'm-a-bit-nutty staccato. Unfortunately, her constant insistence on being so ham-fistedly quirky and zany soon becomes wearing, and simultaneously rescues and spoils the whole album. For the most part, they're really good pop songs, too. The Family Jewels, an Album by Marina & the Diamonds.

Consider A wildcard Diamandis is patently not.

With every album Marina, now 33, has offered a different persona, focus and tone, attracting and dismaying fans and critics with each change. Still, the most apposite ­comparison may be even more ­recherche: Lene Lovich, the plait-haired, boggle-eyed one-hit ­wonder who had previously found ­gainful employ as a ­professional screamer in horror movies. And so to track four, Girls: oompah-oompah, all YOU say IS blah-BLAH-blah.As you might imagine, this amount of affectation is a bit exhausting: you get the impression that ­Diamandis couldn't tell you where the nearest cashpoint is without crossing her eyes, blowing a raspberry and doing quote marks with her fingers every other word.