The Family Jewels (album)

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The Family Jewels
Studio album by Marina and the Diamonds
Released 15 February 2010 (2010-02-15)
Recorded 2008–10;
Genre
Length 45:35
Label
Producer
Marina and the Diamonds chronology
The Crown Jewels EP
(2009)
The Family Jewels
(2010)
The American Jewels EP
(2010)
Singles from The Family Jewels
  1. "Mowgli's Road"
    Released: 13 November 2009 (2009-11-13)
  2. "Hollywood"
    Released: 1 February 2010 (2010-02-01)
  3. "I Am Not a Robot"
    Released: 26 April 2010 (2010-04-26)
  4. "Oh No!"
    Released: 2 August 2010 (2010-08-02)
  5. "Shampain"
    Released: 11 October 2010 (2010-10-11)

The Family Jewels is the debut studio album by Welsh recording artist Marina and the Diamonds, released on 15 February 2010 by 679 Recordings and Atlantic Records. It was produced by Liam Howe, Richard Stannard, Ash Howes, Pascal Gabriel and Greg Kurstin. The Family Jewels reached number five on the UK Albums Chart and was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry, having sold 177,268 copies in the United Kingdom. To promote the album, Diamandis embarked on The Family Jewels Tour.

Background[edit]

Diamandis explained that the album is "a body of work largely inspired by the seduction of commercialism, modern social values, family and female sexuality".[1] She also describes it as "a really diverse album stylistically speaking because I'm such a flexible writer, so there's a lot of pop on it, but there's kind of a lot of leftfield experimental stuff as well. It's basically an album about what not to be."[2]

Singles[edit]

"Mowgli's Road" was released as the album's lead single on 13 November 2009.[3]

"Hollywood" was released as the album's second single and Diamandis's first major release on 1 February 2010.[1] It reached number twelve on the UK Singles Chart.[4]

"I Am Not a Robot" was released as the album's third single on 26 April 2010.[5] The song reached number twenty-six on the UK Singles Chart.[4]

"Oh No!" was released as the album's fourth single on 2 August 2010 only in the UK and Ireland.[6] It peaked at number thirty-eight on the UK Singles Chart.[4]

"Shampain" was released as the album's fifth single on 11 October 2010 only in the UK and Ireland.[7] It reached number 141 on the UK Singles Chart.[8]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 68/100[9]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[10]
BBC Music fairly positive[11]
Clash 6/10[12]
The Daily Telegraph 4/5 stars[13]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[14]
musicOMH 3.5/5 stars[15]
NME 9/10[16]
Q 4/5 stars[17]
Spin 7/10[18]
The Sunday Times 3/5 stars[19]

The Family Jewels received mostly positive reviews. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 68, based on 21 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[9] Hugh Montgomery of Q magazine noted that the album presented a range of different styles, skipping "from glam-disco ('Shampain') and bubblegum punk ('Girls') to quavering piano laments ('Obsessions') and cabaret ditties ('Hermit The Frog')", adding that the singer's "imaginative reach" was "complemented by a winning pop savviness."[17] However, The Independent's Andy Gill gave the album a negative review saying it "demonstrates the inevitable workings of entropy on pop methodology" and describes "Shampain" and "Hermit the Frog" as "every bit as annoying as their punning titles, with queasy, prancing piano and synth figures labouring away methodically, Mika-fashion, while she searches unsuccessfully for worthwhile lyrical routes".[20]

Luke O'Neil from The Phoenix stated that "[t]he likes of Kate Nash and company have flitted through this piano siren/exuberant dance-diva territory, but never mind, because this gorgeous genre starts now."[21] Lou Thomas from BBC Music commented that "[t]he consistently diverting changes in style across the album are fine—the wonky 80s shoulder-pad pop of 'The Outsider' is nothing like anything else here, for example. But over 13 songs of Sparks-voice and many similar staccato piano riffs listeners may feel bludgeoned by Marina and her slightly overbearing presence."[11] Leonie Cooper from NME rated the album nine out of ten stars and wrote, "An album with a distinct dual personality, Marina's dazzling The Family Jewels pitches the confident, MTV Awards-headlining superstar of our dreams against a more self-deprecating girl-next-door Marina who's dead set on Supertramping and vamping her way out of her fug."[16]

The NME placed the album at number thirty-three on its list of the Top 75 Albums of 2010.[22]

Commercial performance[edit]

The Family Jewels debuted at number five on the UK Albums Chart, selling 27,618 copies in its first week.[23] Initially certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) on 19 February 2010, three days prior to its release, it was ultimately certified gold on 14 May 2010.[24] As of May 2012, the album had sold 177,268 copies in the United Kingdom.[25] In the United States, The Family Jewels sold 24,000 copies in its first week to debut at number 138 on the Billboard 200 and at number two on the Heatseekers Albums chart.[26]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Are You Satisfied?"   Marina Diamandis 3:21
2. "Shampain"  
  • Gabriel
  • Howe
  • Stannard[a]
3:11
3. "I Am Not a Robot"   Diamandis Howe 3:35
4. "Girls"  
  • Diamandis
  • Howe
  • Gabriel
  • Gabriel
  • Howe
3:28
5. "Mowgli's Road"  
  • Diamandis
  • Howe
Howe 3:12
6. "Obsessions"   Diamandis Howe 3:38
7. "Hollywood"   Diamandis
3:50
8. "The Outsider"   Diamandis
  • Howe
  • Diamandis
3:17
9. "Hermit the Frog"   Diamandis
  • Howe
  • Diamandis[a]
3:35
10. "Oh No!"  
Kurstin 3:02
11. "Rootless"  
  • Diamandis
  • Howe
  • Gabriel
  • Gabriel
  • Howe
3:28
12. "Numb"   Diamandis Howe 4:16
13. "Guilty"  
  • Diamandis
  • Stannard
  • Howes
  • Stannard
  • Howes
3:40
Notes

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of The Family Jewels.[31]

Charts[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[32] 79
Austrian Albums Chart[33] 18
Dutch Albums Chart[34] 88
European Top 100 Albums[35] 20
French Albums Chart[36] 132
German Albums Chart[37] 12
Greek Foreign Albums Chart[38] 7
Irish Albums Chart[39] 9
Swiss Albums Chart[40] 100
UK Albums Chart[41] 5
US Billboard 200[42] 138
US Heatseekers Albums[43] 2
US Rock Albums[44] 49

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Ireland (IRMA)[45] Gold 7,500x
United Kingdom (BPI)[24] Gold 177,268[25]

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label
Ireland[46] 15 February 2010
United Kingdom[47] 22 February 2010
Scandinavia[48] 24 February 2010 Warner Music
Australia[49] 26 February 2010
France[50] 1 March 2010
Netherlands[51] 19 March 2010
Japan[28] 21 April 2010
Germany[52] 14 May 2010
Canada[53] 25 May 2010
United States[29]
United States[54] 15 June 2010 LP

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Murray, Robin (26 January 2010). "Marina On Musical Background". Clash. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
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  4. ^ a b c "Marina and the Diamonds". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
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  6. ^ "Oh yes!". marinaandthediamonds.com. 25 May 2010. Retrieved 26 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "Hey Diamonds, as...". Facebook. 16 August 2010. Retrieved 16 August 2010. 
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