Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Marina - Mans World - Single Review

Marina Diamandis’s new single is a passionate mid-tempo new track signaling her frustration with living in a ‘Man’s World’ and it feels distinct from her previous discography, while at the same time harking back to it.  

Vocally, Marina’s new track continues in a similar vein to her last album, Love + Fear, with its subtle, soft and velvety vocals that cut through the noise.  Its lyrical and instrumental approach, however, are an interesting and novel blend of her energetic and younger years as Marina and the Diamonds, and her more recent sober and expansive work.  

These factors all combine to form a track that is feminine and ethereal, but at the same time strong and steady, straightforwardly reflecting and bolstering the theme and lyrical content of the song.  In fact, you get a sense that, as she laments having to live in ‘a man’s world’, the ethereal delivery of the instrumentals and her vocals seem to lift her above it.


Lyrically speaking, Diamandis strikes an artful balance between presenting a wider view on the topic she sings on, and zeroing in on it to make the the frustration over the nameless men more personal.  In that sense it reminds me of her song ‘To Be Human’, in that both tracks evoke a feeing of taking a bird’s eye view of the world and flying closer to take a look.  Indeed, both maintain a sense of strength in the face of the often chaotic, prescriptive and bleak world that the songs depict.  In ‘Man’s World’ she switches the view with each verse, and leaves no stone left unturned.  We begin with her own perspective, painting herself in a way that seems to mimic the male gaze but instead subverts it by celebrating herself on her own terms – lovingly alluding to her greying hair through the words ‘stars in my hair like a waterfall’ and she reinforces the dreaminess of the track as she raises “her lashes to the heavens”.  Then, as she moves into the chorus and the bridge, Diamandis zooms out to express a broader view, ‘Mother Nature’s dying/Nobody’s keeping score/I don’t want to live in a man’s world anymore’.  With the post-chorus, she addresses men directly, urging them to see the world from a woman’s point of view.  In the second verse, she displays some of the snark and flair of her earlier work blended with the earnest social awareness of her previous album, as she taking aim at the patriarchy by way of focusing in on a a sheikh that does not see the irony of owning ‘the campest hotel in LA’ whilst ‘killing thousands of gay men’.


The accompanying music video, is a fitting and gorgeous celebration of femininity, merging seamlessly with the dreamy and rhythmic music as Diamandis and her diverse group of dancers move gracefully in their bright and flowing dresses on the hillside.  All in all, Diamandis, with the aid of her all-female production team, has created a stunning feminist track that feels both a natural progression from her past music and distinct at the same time.

- Zayna Mansuri


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