The Family Jewels

Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. The 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.
  2. Marina describes the album as “intricately produced” and that’s where the problem lies. Such attention to detail leaves some of the songs feeling pretty sterile and, as a result, it’s a frustrating listen.
  3. The closer she gets to herniating herself trying to convince you that you're listening to a crazy avant-garde ­artist making pop music by accident, the more convinced you become that she's a canny operator writing pop songs and then dressing them up in a multicoloured afro wig and glasses with eyeballs on springs.
  4. Averegeness abounds from budding UK starlet.
  5. Mojo
    60
    A quirky, theatrical record that's full of pomp and self-importance, The Family Jewels is never less than exciting, but it does try a little too hate to be zany. [Mar 2010, p.100]
  6. Although there is definitely musical colour here, Marina’s vocal delivery and attitude has a tendency to overshadow the music, which is often melodically inventive, but we are rarely given the chance to realise this.
  7. ["Hermit the Frog" is] a rare moment of fun, though; mostly Ms. Diamandis doesn’t let herself get comfortable. She’s strongest on the songs that nod, obliquely or otherwise, to fame.
  8. The Family Jewels seems to be to be symptomatic of a broader trend at the moment to demand our female artists be both credible and commercial at the expense of achieving anything great in either camp.
  9. There’s not much variety as a result, despite a wide range of ingredients, and while it’s possible that liking one song could mean liking them all, it’s best to focus on a single track.
  10. Needless to say, that overbearing need to prove herself just ends up being exhausting. But the lady doth protest too much: There are hints of the darker, weirder dance-floor diva she wants to be hiding beneath the avant-garde pretensions of tracks such as “Shampain,” “I Am Not A Robot,” “Guilty,” and “Oh No!”
  11. Unfortunately, her constant insistence on being so ham-fistedly quirky and zany soon becomes wearing, and simultaneously rescues and spoils the whole album.
  12. Uncut
    40
    All round it makes for a slightly uncomfortable listen. [Apr 2010, p.90]
User Score
8.9

Universal acclaim- based on 219 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Aug 28, 2014
    10
    Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect.Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. Perfect. This is the perfection in form of an album. Full Review »
  2. Oct 25, 2015
    10
    10/10 - "An album with a distinct dual personality, Marina’s dazzling ‘The Family Jewels’ pitches the confident, MTV Awards-headlining10/10 - "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" - NME Full Review »
  3. Sep 15, 2015
    10
    I can't believe how an album can amaze me like this. All tracks are perfect in their style, the lyrics are so strange, amazing and funny! TheI can't believe how an album can amaze me like this. All tracks are perfect in their style, the lyrics are so strange, amazing and funny! The songs are really catchy and funny, they are great. And Mowgli's Road really makes me happy, idk why but there's something in the song that's very happy. Best songs are I Am Not A Robot, Mowgli's Road and Obsessions. Full Review »