The Family Jewels (Marina and the Diamonds album)

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

The Family Jewels is the debut studio album by Welsh singer Marina Diamandis, professionally known as Marina and the Diamonds; it was released on 15 February 2010 by 679 Recordings and Atlantic Records. Diamandis collaborated with producers including Pascal Gabriel, Liam Howe, Greg Kurstin, Richard "Biff" Stannard, and Starsmith during its recording. Their efforts resulted in a primarily indie rock and new wave record, with lyrical themes that Diamandis identify as "the seduction of commercialism, modern social values, family and female sexuality."

Contemporary music critics spoke favourably of The Family Jewels, and welcomed its diverse production. The record debuted at number five on the UK Albums Chart with first-week sales of 27,618 copies, and remains Diamandis' highest-selling debut week of her career. The project was eventually certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry and has sold 177,268 units in the United Kingdom. The Family Jewels performed moderately on international record charts; it peaked at number 138 on the US Billboard 200, and became Diamandis' first charting project in the United States.

The Family Jewels was supported by five singles, all of which were supplemented by accompanying music videos. "Mowgli's Road" was released as the lead single from the record on 13 November 2009, although "Hollywood" became its first charting track after reaching number 12 on the UK Singles Chart. Follow-up singles "I Am Not a Robot", "Oh No", and "Shampain" respectively peaked at numbers 26, 38, and 141 in the United Kingdom. The record was additionally promoted by Diamandis' headlining The Family Jewels Tour, which visited Australia, Europe and North America from January 2010 through December 2011.

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 and final 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 with first-week sales of 27,618 copies.[23] It remains Diamandis' best-selling debut week, after her second studio album Electra Heart entered the chart at number one with first-week sales of 21,358 units.[24] The Family Jewels was later certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry,[25] and has sold 177,268 copies in the United Kingdom as of May 2012.[26] The record debuted at number seven in Greece and number nine in Ireland;[27][28] it was eventually certified gold by the Irish Recorded Music Association.[29]

The Family Jewels performed moderately on several international record charts. The record reached number 12 on the German Media Control Charts,[30] and entered the Ö3 Austria Top 40 at number 18.[31] It peaked at number 88 on the Dutch MegaCharts,[32] number 100 on the Swiss Hitparade,[33] and number 132 in France.[34] In Oceania, the album reached number 79 on the Australian ARIA Charts.[35] With first-week sales of 24,000 copies in the United States,[36] The Family Jewels entered the Billboard 200 at number 138;[37] furthermore, it respectively charted at numbers 2 and 49 on the Billboard Top Heatseekers and Top Rock Albums component charts.[38][39]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of The Family Jewels.[40]

The Family Jewels – Standard version
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
  • ^a signifies an additional producer
  • ^b signifies an original producer
  • ^c signifies a remixer

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of The Family Jewels.[40]

  • Marina Diamandis – vocals (all tracks); piano (tracks 1–3, 6, 8, 12), glockenspiel (track 3); mixing (tracks 4, 11); casio VL-tone, production (track 8); additional production (track 9); organ (track 12)
  • Chris Allan – cello (tracks 1, 3)
  • Rebekah Allan – violin (tracks 9, 12)
  • Niel Catchpole – violin (tracks 7, 13)
  • Guy Davie – mastering (tracks 1–9, 11–13)
  • Alison Dods – violin (tracks 1, 3, 7, 13)
  • Steve Durham – drums (tracks 1–3)
  • Pascal Gabriel – production, programming (tracks 2, 4, 11); synths (track 2); all instruments, engineering, mixing (tracks 4, 11)
  • Liam Howe – production (tracks 1–3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 12); programming (tracks 1–3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12); bass (tracks 1, 2, 5, 6); mellotron (tracks 1, 3, 6, 9, 12); synths (tracks 1–3, 6, 8); additional piano, electric guitar (track 2); mixing, Philicorda (track 3, 5, 6, 8, 9, 12); all instruments (tracks 4, 11); acoustic guitar, glockenspiel, spoons, whistle (track 5); engineering (tracks 5, 6, 8); Jew's harp, santoor (track 8); mandolin, recorder (tracks 9, 12)
  • Ash Howes – mixing, production (tracks 1, 7, 13); keyboards (track 1); programming (tracks 1, 2, 7, 13); additional keyboards (track 2); all instruments (tracks 7, 13)
  • Greg Kurstin – keyboards, engineering, guitar, mixing, production, programming (track 10)
  • Oli Langford – viola (tracks 7, 9, 12, 13); violin (tracks 7, 13)
  • Stephen Large – string arrangements (tracks 7, 13); piano (tracks 9, 12); Hammond organ (track 12)
  • Dougal Lott – assistant engineering (tracks 1–3, 9, 12); Pro Tools (track 5)
  • Alex Mackenzie – drums, harpsichord (tracks 5, 6); additional piano, mandolin (track 6)
  • Mat Maitland – sleeve art
  • Calina de la Mere – violin (tracks 1, 3)
  • Anna Mowat – cello (tracks 7, 13)
  • Anna Phoebe – violin (tracks 9, 12)
  • Luke Potashnick – guitar (track 1)
  • Rankin – portraits
  • Raymond67 (Freesound Project) – mechanical monkey (track 5)
  • Rachel Robson – viola (tracks 1, 3)
  • Sandyrb (Freesound Project) – human monkey (track 5)
  • Lucy Shaw – double bass, string arrangements (tracks 1, 3, 7, 9, 12, 13)
  • Richard "Biff" Stannard – production (tracks 1, 7, 13); keyboards (track 1); programming (tracks 1, 2, 7, 13); additional keyboards, additional production (track 2); mixing (tracks 2, 7, 13); drums (track 7); all instruments (tracks 7, 13)
  • Starsmith – original production (track 7)
  • Dave Turner – mastering (track 10)
  • David Westlake – drums (track 9)
  • Richard Wilkinson – engineering (tracks 1–3, 9, 12)
  • Chris Worsey – cello (tracks 9, 12)

Charts[edit]

Chart (2010) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[35] 79
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[31] 18
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[32] 88
French Albums (SNEP)[34] 132
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[30] 12
Greek Albums (IFPI)[27] 7
Irish Albums (IRMA)[28] 9
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[33] 100
UK Albums (OCC)[45] 5
US Billboard 200[37] 138
US Top Heatseekers Albums (Billboard)[38] 2
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[39] 49

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Ireland (IRMA)[29] Gold 7,500x
United Kingdom (BPI)[25] Gold 177,268[26]

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

Release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref.
Ireland 15 February 2010 [46]
United Kingdom 22 February 2010 [47]
Scandinavia 24 February 2010 Warner Music [48]
Australia 26 February 2010 [49]
France 1 March 2010 [50]
Netherlands 19 March 2010 [51]
Japan 21 April 2010 [42]
Germany 14 May 2010 [52]
Canada 25 May 2010 [53]
United States
[43]
15 June 2010 LP [54]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Murray, Robin (26 January 2010). "Marina on Musical Background". Clash. Retrieved 19 February 2010. 
  3. ^ "Mowgli's Road / Space and the Woods – Single by Marina & The Diamonds". iTunes Store UK. Apple. Retrieved 21 February 2010. 
  4. ^ a b c "Marina and the Diamonds". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 28 February 2014. 
  5. ^ "I Am Not A Robot will be Marina's next single in the UK!". marinaandthediamonds.com. 12 March 2010. Retrieved 23 March 2010. 
  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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  12. ^ James, Gareth (8 February 2010). "Marina and The Diamonds – The Family Jewels". Clash. Retrieved 14 February 2010. 
  13. ^ McCormick, Neil (18 February 2010). "Marina & the Diamonds: The Family Jewels, CD review". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 28 February 2010. 
  14. ^ Petridis, Alexis (18 February 2010). "Marina and the Diamonds: The Family Jewels". The Guardian. Retrieved 22 February 2010. 
  15. ^ Murphy, John. "Marina & The Diamonds – The Family Jewels". musicOMH. Retrieved 3 February 2010. 
  16. ^ a b Cooper, Leonie (22 February 2010). "Album review: Marina And The Diamonds – 'The Family Jewels' (679)". NME. IPC Media. Retrieved 27 February 2010. 
  17. ^ a b Montgomery, Hugh (March 2010). "Marina & the Diamonds – The Family Jewels". Q (284): 105. 
  18. ^ Walters, Barry (19 May 2010). "Marina & the Diamonds, 'The Family Jewels' (Chop Shop/Atlantic)". Spin. Retrieved 28 April 2012. 
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