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Diamonds vs. Machine: Fight for Best Up-and-Coming Brit Songstress with Misleading Name

MarinaFlorence

First things first: when we’re talking Marina and the Diamonds and Florence and the Machine, we specifically mean two people: petite brown-haired Marina and statuesque ginger Florence. Aside from their moniker goof, the UK twosome don’t have much in common beyond their impending US crossover fame with Florence’s Lungs and Marina’s The Family Jewels  But in pop culture, use of an ampersand and similar gender are the ties that bind, so let’s see how they stack up in a purely 100 percent scientific analysis:

Best animal call: Even though Marina delivers a convincing cuckoo on Mowgli’s Road, its not quite on par with Florence’s tortured howl as heard on Cosmic Love and (naturally) Dog Days. It goes something like this: song lyric + unnecessarily long hold on note = loud whimpering animal. Advantage: Florence

Best oldies shout-out: Florence is a dead-ringer for Grace Slick, for sure. Or Ann Wilson. One of those uber-talented, shouty ‘70s singers. Marina is harder to place. People say Kate Bush, but why, because she was kind of weird too? Whatever the case, Babooshka still cracks me up. Advantage: Marina.

Best use of glitter: Eighteen hours of makeup time deserves some kind of victory. That’s what Marina suffered through for I Am Not a Robot, the $5,000-budget video by famed photographer Rankin and filmmaker Chris Cottam that was shot before she got big. Dudes apparently just loved the song. Between being doused in sparkly black goo and having red crystals lined along her lips, it catches an eye. Florence dabbles in the stuff here and there, but, you know, she’s not drenched in it. Advantage: Marina

Best exclamation: There’s nothing Florence sings that doesn’t involve some kind of heightened punctuation at the end. And once her songs head into the four-minute mark, all of her words can pretty much be replaced with !!!! (mostly because her words are unintelligible by the end). But oh no, Florence, Marinas Oh No! speaks for itself, doesn’t it? I mean, literally it does, the words pop up on the screen, for heavens sake. Advantage:Marina

Best serious glare: Marina is pretty much always equipped with enough black eye-liner to intimidate a pack of raccoons, but she can’t really look into the camera without cracking a smile, cuz, you know, music videos about serious things are silly. But Florence doesn’t think so, and shell challenge anyone to a staring contest any day. Uh-huh, wont matter if she’s in a bat-winged leotard bouncing around, because she feels music, drumming inside her head, and that’s a big deal.

Best Punch: Florence prefers her kisses to be pre-empted by a slap or a kick, or something abusive, because (as previously mentioned with her feeling the drumming and then there’s the bouncing and the staring, and so much staring) if she’s not having a conniption, then its like, musically, it never happened, you know? But then there’s pint-sized Marina delivering an actual punch - to music, and that’s just fucking precious. Advantage: Marina

 

Best Misleading Extension of Name: Machine vs. Diamonds. Ok, so it’s a competition between something cold and metallic and something shiny. I think you see where this is going. Alright, so this judgment doesn’t come with a careful tallying — the verdict was clear from the onset: the women’s respective faux band names gave it away. Florence is much like a machine, her voice reliable, but her material hollow, without much to uncover nor pay attention to. Her songs veer off into overkill no matter how promising the initial notes seem. The usage of harp and ukulele is a nice touch, but one that she undermines with all her chanting and drumming. While Marina’s diamonds do as the jewel is wont to: captivate your gaze and hold on until you’ve made the investment. Her voice can be jarring with its occasional dive into ultra-alto range, but her songs have a depth and a humor which she always capitalizes on. Her videos have a cheekiness which she seems to have a grip on (no cold stares here) and ultimately, its just fun, dammit.
VERDICT: Marina and the Diamonds
 
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