I first discovered Melanie after I found a music video of hers while looking for some new music on Youtube. It was the video for Dollhouse. It captured my attention very quickly because it opens with a young girl in her bedroom reading, with creepy scary movie sounds. Within the first minute I found out the song wasn’t as sweet as the music video made it look. The dollhouse isn’t exactly what it seems. That is my favourite thing about her. Throughout her music she uses very conceptual ideas. Her album art work and music videos use imagery of children and family, toys and the innocence of a child. The tracklist sounds like a nursery rhyme, but its more like a nightmare. She uses the character Cry Baby to tackle emotional abuse, romances and their struggles, and family issues. She is the perfect balance of light and dark.
On a lighter note, she is also just so fucking cool. Ever since she was on the voice she has stayed consistent with her look and aesthetic. If her youthful, colourful tattoos, her two-toned hair and her tooth gap doesn’t make her unique than I don’t know what will. Her voice is something that makes her stand out as well. She has the voice where she can sound emotional, whispery, quirky and alternative all in one song. She has a very electronic pop sound that appeals to everyone.
Its a dark album wrapped up in a pink bow.
Cry Baby is the album’s opening song and is an introduction to the character Cry Baby. The character comes from Melanie and how sensitive she is, and how she can cry at simple little things. The track is very important for setting up the childlike ideology for the album. The character is a young girl who has to deal with many adult situations.
“Tears fall to the ground, I just let them drown”
The character is seen as having a heart too big for her body that it doesn’t even fit inside. She seems to be hurt by the name calling and gets defensive and even says she doesn’t “fucking care.” You find out throughout the story how Cry Baby does with pretending not to care.
This song and video use the young child, adult themes. It is a look into Cry Baby’s home life. Its an easy message, you never know what happens behind closed doors.
“Everyone thinks that we’re perfect, Please don’t let them look through the curtain”
As she plays with her dolls, the dollhouse is all a façade. The dollhouse looks perfect and put together on the outside, but as you open it up there are more problems visible.
Training Wheels is a love song off the album. Not only is the song beautiful and gorgeously sung, but the song is a metaphor about building a relationship. He is riding a bike but she is ready to go to the next step. She wants to take off his training wheels and ride a two-wheeler with him.
“I’ll carry band-aids on me now, for when your soft hands hit the jagged ground”
When you take the training wheels off it runs the risk of falling and hurting yourself. Much like falling in love. Cry Baby promises the boy that she will be there for him, by carrying band-aids.
Pity Party is the most main stream sounding song. It includes a sample from Lesley Gore’s song, “It’s My Party.” The song is an emotional outburst from Cry Baby. She put herself out there by inviting a boy she likes to her party, and he doesn’t show up, no one does. This hurts her so bad that she almost goes insane as you can see in the music video. The lyrics start out with doubt. Cry Baby wants to know why this happened, and if she should blame herself.
“Did my invitations disappear? Why’d I put my heart on every cursive letter?”
She then tries to justify why they didn’t come and cheer herself up by saying at least theres more cake for her. Cry Baby decides its okay to cry and by the bridge of the song she is at full rage.
Mrs. Potato Head
The song Mrs. Potato Head, focuses on how hard it is to grow up with self-acceptance in a society that is so judgemental.
“Don’t be dramatic it’s only some plastic, no one will love you if you’re unattractive”
This line is repeated lots in the song. In a passive aggressive, kind of sarcastic way, talks about the insane lengths that people go for beauty. She asks “does a new face come with a warranty?” She uses the theme of toys, as Mrs. Potato Head can easily be fixed or changed easily to look different. She is also referencing how society can change a child’s innocence once they have pressure to look or act a certain way.
I picked only 5 songs to share, but I highly recommend listening to the whole album. I cannot stress how amazing she is. This whole record is solid. If you appreciate good lyric writing then you will love listening to this album as a story. If you like alternative or an electronic sound than there is something here for you as well. If you are a person you will love this album. There are so many stories and topics covered that there will be things that you relate to and connect with.
She is playing Osheaga and I really want to get my back better so I can go!
‘Cry Baby’ Album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O87lzhoexyA&list=PLxaOLAMRoxjeXHjK7BmYiKtvTjGON_AiV
Cry Baby Storybook: http://melaniemartinezmusic.com/crybaby/
♫I see things that nobody else sees♫
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