Album review: Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land takes an ecofeminist lens

Opera song


After taking a break from the music industry to pursue psychology studies at the University of London in 2019, Marina Diamandis – formerly Marina and the Diamonds – focused her energy on exploring the most critical issues of society through an ecofeminist lens. Marina recently returned to the music scene with her album “Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land”, released in June.

This album represents Marina’s embrace of herself, realizing her inner strength after trying different paths and taking a detour through the industry. She herself characterizes “Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land” as her best album.

The title track of the album “Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land” is a logical song to prepare fans for the album’s main theme: be yourself no matter what. The robotic dance tunes create harmony with the soft voice of Marina’s opera rising in the choir. A pandemic that forced everyone to focus on themselves while being stuck in their house also inspired Marina to “take a peek inside herself” and decide on her main theme, captured by the words “You don’t have to be like everyone else / You don’t ‘You don’t have to fit into the norm / You aren’t here to conform. The song’s self-embracing message, colorful theme, and robotic beats conspire to evoke an 80s disco party.

Marina continues with a sassy song, “Venus Fly Trap,” in which she calls out Hollywood for its unattainable standards after releasing her debut album “The Family Jewels” in 2010 and has had harsh expressions towards her national – half-Greek origin, half -Welsh – and her different style of music – she focused more on the lyrics than the tunes, which doesn’t seem so common. The song “Venus Fly Trap” creates a hype with Marina’s patchy notes, piano chords and punchy drums. After stepping away from the entertainment industry and the public eye, Marina prides herself on going her own way and loving herself without listening to nasty comments about her in the past.

“I carried a lot of shame in my life that was not mine, and I was only able to really free myself from it recently. As a result, I was able to examine my career and feel proud that I didn’t have to compromise so much. Marina spoke to Vogue about her career and the meaning of the song.

From an ecofeminist perspective, Marina felt the need to defend her musical stance regarding long-standing male dominance and how women and LGBTQ + people have been subjugated and discriminated against throughout history. This inspired her to write “Man’s World”.

“Femininity has been such a negative trait for so long. It is shameful to be feminine, whether you are a man or a woman. It goes back hundreds of years, and I think it’s really to the detriment of society because we’ve all had to try to be more masculine to be successful or to be accepted, ”Marina told Vogue of the writing of the song.

I feel like this song is very inspiring and nods to people who also feel the same way as Marina. In the production of “Man’s World,” Marina only hired women who represent what she was talking about in the song and tried to give them a chance to show off their abilities in a predominantly male industry. Also, the slow tunes but not the boring pace made the track more natural and heartfelt.

In “Purge the Poison” and “New America” ​​Marina combines her pop culture awareness with social injustices around the world, such as the search for justice for Britney Spears, capitalism, the MeToo movement, the stolen lands of the world. America and Systemic Racism. She told Vogue that her main inspiration for writing “New America” ​​was the murder of George Floyd in 2020. Her decision to make these two songs with a fast and furious beat, led by drums and electronic guitar, has clarified their meaning. However, the poorly accented syllables in the pre-chorus of “Purge the Poison” made it a bit difficult to listen without irritation.

“Flowers”, “I Love You But I Love Me More”, “Highly Emotional People” and “Pandora’s Box” tell about a past relationship, possibly toxic, and Marina’s realization that the relationship was no longer worth its time and sadness. They are slower tracks compared to the first half of the LP, with a euphonic piano and softer melodies. Even though the songs are related to the theme of the album, I think the album would have sounded more sonically cohesive if these songs were also energetic, as the album tells about world and relationship issues in a way. sassy and fun when they’re supposed to. be tragic. It would have been better if she chose fast rhythms.

The last track on the album, “Goodbye” sounds like a heartbreaking song, but I think it’s more of a farewell song to the artist’s young person and even his career. Against the backdrop of Marina’s long-standing reflections on possible early retirement and on the heels of a disruption in the industry, the melancholy tunes and high-pitched notes of “Goodbye” make “the farewell” even more powerful. It’s a great song to end the album with a smoother and more melancholy song after we have been applauded throughout the album.

Thematically, “Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land” tells the truth and addresses critical world issues that need to be addressed immediately. Originally, Marina wanted to work on her feminine side on the album and I think she achieved her goal with harmonic melodies mellisonantes. We hear her softer, more lyrical, charming voice and high notes that excite the listener just in time.

Changing her style in each album definitely made Marina more creative and self-confident. When asked to find her ‘one genre’, Marina told Vogue, “I’ve done something different with every album so I think my identity as an artist maybe is about my lyrics, really – it’s not so much about the production. Who knows what I’m gonna do next! “This album proves that Marina isn’t a girl who just wants the whole world for herself, but who wants to change problems and break down walls for the sake of future generations.