By and large, albums these days don't get bad reviews. If you look at the music section of crit aggregator Metacritic, you'll see a strip of green, signifying "generally favorable reviews" to "universal acclaim," per the site's metric. I don't know exactly why this is, but given my experience, I'd guess that there's still a lot of placating going on — sometimes publications fear giving negative reviews because it may impede future access. Music publicists can be pretty tenacious.

So it's actually strange when an album like Marina & the Diamonds' sophomore album, Electra Heart, gets slapped with a lowly 54 Metascore (that's out of 100). I've read a few reviews and I can't really figure out the disdain for what plays like a well-sung, adequate Dr. Luke-driven dance-pop record at worst. (In contrast, Britney Spears' robotically sung adequate Dr. Luke-driven dance-pop record at best, Femme Fatale, has a 67, which doesn't quite capture the fawning it inspired in its most enthusiastic reviews.)

At best, Electra Heart offers "Power & Control," an ABBA-esque banger that derives at least half of its hookiness from a prolonged, "Maaaaaaaaaake," in the chorus. Seriously, it's all about the "Maaaaaaaaaake." Its accompanying clip's homage to George Michael's "Freedom '90" video is a nice touch, too.


So yeah, lay off Marina. She's got a great voice that doesn't assault you with its weirdness and, "You may be good looking but you're not a piece of art," is the best take-down I've heard in a pop song all year.