Melanie Martinez was on Season 3 of The Voice and Team Adam. She didn’t win, but she was able to transition to a record deal with Atlantic Records. Her first full length album is ‘Cry Baby’ and was released last year on August 14, 2015.
I don’t know if I would have listened to this album on my own. The only reason I really know about her is my oldest daughter. Melanie is one of her favorite artist. When we were on vacation a couple weeks ago, we came across her record in the Vinyl section of a store and I let her get it. And of course on the car ride home, we had to listen to the album (no, not on vinyl as my car is not outfitted with a turntable – we streamed it).
Her music has been categorized as Alternative, Pop, and Electro-pop. I find it to be a unusual, strange and a little demented…and I mean that in a good way. All her song titles are related in someway to childhood and after listening to the songs, I would say she has some real issues related to her childhood.
However, I know that is not the case based on her website which details the story behind ‘Cry Baby’ (Check out her website). The website states the following:
The album, which Melanie created with producers and songwriters like Kinetics & One Love, embraces childlike themes and imagery, connecting each song together like a children’s storybook. But the recent adult experiences in Melanie’s own life, with relationships and heartbreak and self-discovery, are juxtaposed against these young aesthetics in a deeply interesting way.
The imagery on the album and the insert are twisted and make me worry that Ms. Melanie needs some serious help. I think that the dark imagery with childhood overtones is what makes this album interesting.
The album comes with a pink booklet that has more of the above imagery which depicts every song on the album with a little poem under each picture. It adds to the tone and feel of the album which brings it all to life a little more. All these little extras with the album are why my daughter now understands why the whole idea of vinyl or even a CD is so nice to own. It gives you something physical to hold and adds to the overall listening experience. You don’t get all this with only streaming your music (although the convenience is nice).
I guess I should talk about the music. There are 13 songs on the album and I have to admit the album is really good. Melanie Martinez has a nice voice and there is a childlike tone to it at times and at times she is quite haunting in her vocals.
Her first single was “Pity Party” which is a wonderful remake of “It’s My Party” by Lesley Gore back in 1965. It really isn’t a remake so much as a complete overhaul and keeping the main chorus. It might be my favorite song on the album. There is a woman screaming in the middle of the song and my kids love screaming that in the car when it comes on.
Another great song on the album is “Dollhouse”. Lyrically dark, like all her songs, it is about a very broken family but told in a great, honest way from the viewpoint of the child. “Cry Baby” is about just what the title says it is. A person who cries over every little thing and gets teased for it.
“Mrs. Potato Head” has a great bass beat. I like this one as well and it talks about how people focus so much on a woman’s looks and her worries about that unjust criticism. A couple other songs that are standouts for me are “Soap” which includes some weird bubble sound in parts of the song and “Sippy Cup” which is about substance abuse.
Overall, it really is great debut album. There is nothing really boring about it since you are always trying to listen to the lyrics as they really are interesting.
- “Cry Baby”
- “Sippy Cup”
- “Alphabet Boy”
- “Training Wheels”
- “Pity Party”
- “Tag, You’re It”
- “Milk & Cookies”
- “Pacify Her”
- “Mrs. Potato Head”
- “Mad Hatter”