Saturday, 11 June 2016

♪♫ Guess I better wash my mouth out with soap ♫♪

Yesterday, I got my Cry Baby album in the post. 

I remember hearing about Melanie Martinez ages ago through the lolita community, because she'd been known to wear lolita clothing. I was surprised to find that I actually liked her music, even though her fan base is a little... intense (and surprisingly young, given the mature and gritty lyrical content of her work). I came across many criticisms about her aesthetic and the themes in her music, which many people believed to be sexualising towards children. I read various articles and interviews about Cry Baby, and found out that it was a concept album based very loosely around events in Melanie's childhood, with the titular Cry Baby character being a kind of alter-ego. With this context in mind, not only did the album make a lot more sense to me, but I found that I didn't interpret the content in the same way as the nay-sayers.

It's only recently I got round to listening to the album in its entirety, and I loved it. It's so depressing and haunting and magical, with lyrics which cleverly entwine metaphors so layered that at a first glance, you don't notice the consistently dark undercurrent of the songs. I was hooked, with "Soap" and "Training Wheels" being the standout tracks for me. Naturally, I decided to check out her web store and see which formats the album had been released on. When I saw that it came on vinyl, it was a no-brainer, really. I purchased the 12" through the Amazon Marketplace to save a few quid. 

 I've kind of got a thing for album covers and this one really does it for me.
 The album comes in a gatefold sleeve, and the artwork is so incredibly detailed. 

There's even more art, too, in the form of a storybook based on the concept album itself. I'm in love.

 I'm so reminded of a vintage nursery rhyme book of my childhood. The colours are stunning.

The artist is Chloe Tersigni, and her style has such a lolita vibe to it. Her instagram is definitely worth a peruse.

I also have a lot of love for the back cover. It reminds me a little of the back cover of one of my favourite albums, Jellyfish's Spilt Milk.

One thing I do find to be a glaring oversight, though, is that there isn't any lyrics booklet. I can't help thinking that the storybook should have had the lyrics printed in full, as opposed to the little summaries at the bottom of each page. Still, this is only a small qualm as it's very easy to find lyrics for songs online. The record comes with a code and a link to follow, which enables you to download a digital version of the album, too. I always love when this is offered, as it means that not only do you get a gorgeous physical copy, but you can also listen to it at your convenience or on the go. I'm one of those people who still uses an iPod, so Cry Baby went straight onto it.

In summary, this is by far the most beautiful vinyl package I've ever bought. The artwork throughout is a delight to look at, and musically, it's quite a triumph. I get the impression that an awful lot of work went into producing all of this, and I'm particularly impressed (and vaguely depressed) to find out that Melanie is younger than me! I need to go and achieve some more things in life, methinks. 

This album was worth every penny and I absolutely recommend it! Go check out Cry Baby. It'll either not be your thing at all, or you'll fall madly in love with it like I did.

So... are any of my readers Melanie Martinez fans, too? Do any of you like to collect vinyl records? I'd love to hear about your music adventures in the comments. Thanks for reading, and I'll catch up with you next time 

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