Melanie Martinez – Dollhouse Review
I don’t want to bore you by numerating the reasons why I dragged my feet so much with this e.p. Suffice it to say that Broken Birdie is a lazy bum who spends too much time under bridges.
I downloaded the music and let it play through, and then did it again, and again. The only thought that came to my mind that first day was “Melanie Martinez owes either Lorde or Lana Del Rey, or both, some serious royalties. Somebody call an ambulance, Melanie bit the shit out of Lana’s style!” After more thought, though, that’s hardly fair. Beginning that line of thinking is taking the exit to old-age where I start becoming a person that “just doesn’t get it”. It’s already happened to hip-hop. I don’t understand rap anymore, but that’s another article altogether. Music like Ms. Martinez has put together on the Dollhouse e.p. might borrow, it might lift, it may be shamelessly influenced by the aforementioned artists, but can you blame her? Being that this web-site is called Rock and Roll Animals, some of you may not have a clue what i’m babbling about. This isn’t rock and roll. It’s not even close, but lest we fall into the trap of becoming old before our time, we must allow “rock and roll” to transcend it’s traditional sounds and antics.
Dollhouse starts off with “Bittersweet Tragedy” which is anthemic in it’s presentation. It’s large, it’s fluid, it’s like standing on a deserted beach with your feet sinking into the sand and staring at the water. You can see the wave building that will ultimately smash you into the ground, but you can’t take your eyes off of it, can’t even think of moving to safety. You are drawn to the thing that will destroy you, and it’s one of the most common, irrational human actions that I can think of right now. In short, this is one of the most venomous love songs I have heard in quite some time and I love it.
Track two, “Carousel”, certainly pushes the circus/carnival analogy with it’s funky pipe-organ sound at the beginning. The song is catchy, but some of the word-play is a little bit corny, and I don’t foresee this track having very much replay value at all. Unless you work for a carnival, of course.
Following that the e.p. takes a rather unexpected, dark turn. After several listens “Dead To Me” begins to sound like an extremely thinly veiled death threat. More likely, however, it’s simply dramatics that I can not relate to. It’s a very catchy song, but to avoid the risk of sounding like an obnoxious ass I think that I’ll just move on.
Rounding out the e.p. is the title track “Dollhouse.” It’s an angsty song about how a seemingly perfect family is, in reality, flawed and tragic. It’s simple, it’s dark, and, again, it’s catchy as hell. It’s certainly the most radio-friendly track on here. As a side note, I love it when people refer to weed as “cannabis”. There’s something very haughty about it, and it’s also quite charming in a strange way.
Ernest Hemingway said “In order to write about life first you must live it.” Melanie Martinez has heaps of potential to become a serious force in music, but at the tender age of 19 I don’t think she’s been dragged through enough dirt, yet. As of now she is a young girl singing songs for young girls, but hopefully with experience she will blossom into a uniquely talented artist that will establish an identity of her own. “Bittersweet Tragedy” is the gem of this e.p. and I hope to hear more from her in the future.