MARINA deconstructs society and explores self in indie album “Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land”


Source: MARINA

Indie-pop artist MARINA’s fifth studio album “Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land” strikes listeners with its social commentary and self-reflection, exploring the societal restrictions on women and the artist’s self-evolution.

The titular song “Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land” kicks off the album with punchy drums and resonant synths. The song describes MARINA’s nonconformity and encourages others to join her with the lyrics.

“You don’t have to be like everyone else,” she sings. “You don’t have to fit into the norm.”

The rest of the album follows suit, featuring crisp synths and drums, along with warm guitar and piano.

“Man’s World” has a less aggressive sound than some of the other songs on the album. The lyrics describe tiring of a man’s world, where “Mother Nature’s dying,” and Marilyn Monroe stayed on a property “owned by a sheik who killed thousands of gay men.”

The album mostly consists of social commentary, but a few songs appear to reflect MARINA’s personal experiences.

“Flowers” recounted a long and lackluster relationship that has ended due to one partner’s low effort. MARINA mourns the relationship’s failure, softly singing “if you just bought me flowers, maybe I would have stayed” over an echoing piano.

At first, the song seemed almost shallow, complaining about not getting flowers. But as it progresses, you learn that her partner’s not buying her flowers represents how they do not try hard enough in the relationship.

The album doesn’t contain an overarching narrative, but it strums the same themes in criticism of misogyny.

I enjoy the diversity of moods in the album. The title track looks up in hope, “Man’s World” fumes in anger and “Flowers” sighs in resignation.

Unfortunately, the placement of the different moods is odd. The first half is faster and more aggressive than the reserved second half, but the fifth and sixth songs should be switched.

The album’s final track, fittingly called “Goodbye,” diverges from the themes of the rest of the album, as MARINA’s message to her former self.

“Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land” has a wide appeal, great for both veteran fans and for people listening to MARINA for the first time.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5