After last year’s ‘Love + Fear’ – which received mixed reviews from critics and fans alike – Marina (formerly, ‘And The Diamonds’) has released the lead single of her upcoming album; which is expected to be released some time next year. Following the trend set by her two previous albums, ‘Man’s World’ is Marina’s most political, and culturally relevant, release yet; with references to witch-burning, environmental destruction and LGBTQ+ inequality.
True to form, ‘Man’s World’ is doggedly non-conformist; with it’s references to the murder of gay men and, the way it’s transcendent, understated, piano instrumentation is replaced by a thumping bassline around the one-minute mark. And – like many of Marina’s classics (‘Oh No’, Hollywood’) – the song features the odd irony-clad lyric (“Owned by a sheik who killed thousands of gay men / I guess that’s why he bought the campest hotel in LA then”).
While bursting with more energy and vibrancy than much of ‘Love + Fear’, ‘Man’s World’ still ranks as one of Marina’s more understated singles (even though, it’s also one of her most complex, composition-wise), especially when compared to the the disco-bop ‘Froot’ or the charmingly egotistical ‘Primadonna’. Even after repeat listens, it’s hard to form a final opinion on the song.
While denoting a promising new direction for Diamandis, the song isn’t completely without fault:- it’s presentation of a complex socio-political issue can feel a little too on-the-nose and, I wish Marina had developed the guitar bass-line further instead of letting it dissipate. However, if the goal of this song was to create an anthemic, inclusive tune that pleased fans – especially those who are women or belong to the LGBTQ+ community – then the song can only be seen as a roaring success.