Melanie Martinez, who first made it big on NBC’s “The Voice,” captivates her fans with her new album, Cry Baby.
While I remember Martinez as a quirky girl who always rocked a new hairstyle every show on “The Voice,” she most stood out to me for her enchanting voice, slightly breathy and interesting take on songs like “Crazy” and “Toxic.” Her album does not fail to convey her style and theme. While some of the music drowns out her voice at times (see “Teddy Bear”), songs like “Sippy Cup” and “Cry Baby,” allures listeners with a singularly dark, catchy synth-pop beat.
“Sippy Cup” is lyric-driven and Martinez’s voice shines throughout the song. It has a mellow feel, leaving you with all sorts of feelings. It sure left me with some. Moreover, the lyrics discusses drug use – specifically the song, Cough Syrup – and society’s tendency to do whatever they are told no matter the consequence (“if they say to kill yourself, then you will try it”), including taking diet pills.
In fact, much of Cry Baby puts into light some of the harder issues, including abusive relationships and a torn family. The whole album is similar to a children’s storybook gone wrong. The lyric line, “kids are still depressed when you dress them up,” really struck a chord within me as it is repeated throughout the song.
Additionally, “Cry Baby,” for which the album is named after is my personal favorite. A little more lighthearted than the rest of her songs, Martinez shows a different side of her–more sassy and less subdued. If any of her songs would make the radio, it would definitely be this one, winning people over for its singular catchy lyric, “cry baby, cry baby” and interesting sounds.
However, this album’s downfall is its excessive use of synthetic sounds–the sound of water running in “Sippy Cup” comes off as the producers having too much with the sound effect pool. I think they forgot that Martinez’s voice carries the album, not theirs. Overall, it takes away from all the other cool sounds created, which are, don’t get me wrong, pretty neat.
All in all, Martinez strikes me musically as a combination between Lorde, with all of her dark and twisted themes, and Zella Day, in regards to her voice. While critics compare Martinez to Lana del Rey, Lana’s central theme remains whining over boys, while Martinez clearly steers the opposite direction.
This ambitious album–an alternative pop delight–is definitely worth the listen. It left me questioning my life for days.
Single “Pity Party” from Martinez’s debut album showcases her unique electro-pop style.