The Grizzly Gazette

The Student News Site of Los Osos High School

The Grizzly Gazette

The Grizzly Gazette

Melanie Martinez Is Back From The Dead

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Follow the tunnel into the portal and you will be transported into the world created by Melanie Martinez’s new album “Portals”, in which they take on a new artistic style both physically and musically. 

In order to understand the incredible effort and storytelling in this new album, we have to rewind to Martinez’s past two eras: “Crybaby” and “K-12”, shortly followed by the EP “After School”.

In Martinez’s debut album “Crybaby”, she takes on the persona of Cry Baby herself. Rather than a being, Cry Baby is a soul, allowing her to reincarnate over time. Cry Baby’s experiences along with the lessons she learns are reflected in Martinez’s music. 

Within the album, Cry Baby is introduced as a young, sensitive girl in an abusive and problematic home. 

Following this era, Cry Baby is sent to a boarding school, beginning the “K-12” album. This album takes the listener on a trip through Kindergarten to the end of high school.

This brings us to “Portals” where Cry Baby’s physical body has been left behind and she has been reincarnated into an otherworldly being, explaining Martinez’s new style which has been described as “eerie” or “disturbing”. 

The first two songs “DEATH” and “VOID” explore themes of rebirth and death itself. The second track shifts focus towards Martinez’s own struggles with anxiety, with lyrics like “There’s rotten things left in me / Injected by society / No one here but me to judge me.” 

Track three “TUNNEL VISION” is about being reduced to only your body, especially as a woman. Martinez sings with a tone that can almost be described as lustful, emphasizing the desire and expectations that are placed on women. 

“FAERIE SOIREE” feels like a transition into the mystical world that Martinez creates with this album, with a more upbeat tone. 

Martinez continues this theme by introducing an unconventional love song titled “LIGHT SHOWER”. Though some of the lyrics follow the template of a cute, simple love song, Martinez takes a twist on this, singing, “But you make me want to / Plan out my last days on earth, eating you.” 

The next three songs, “SPIDER WEB”, “LEECHES”, and “BATTLE OF THE LARYNX” all follow the theme of having your privacy invaded and violated. 

Similarly, “THE CONTORTIONIST”, track nine, is about being taken advantage of and ties back into track three. Though all of these songs have completely different beats, they all center around addressing real-world problems through the lens of magical realism. 

Melanie Martinez is great at weaving these otherworldly elements in through sound effects, such as bones crushing and snapping noises that tie into the intended discomfort. 

The next song, “MOON CYCLE” is a satirical song about being on your period. Some fans theorize that this song is directed towards Martinez’s ex Oliver Tree who wrote a lyric stating, “…Like each brick on my pyramid / I’m angry and bloody like a b**** on her period.” 

Martinez’s response was, “I could win a fight on my period / Matter of fact, right now, I could build a pyramid.” 

Not only does this song make a mockery of Tree’s ignorant lyrics but it also addresses a taboo topic that is not often sung about. 

The next song “NYMPHOLOGY” goes back to the topic of the patriarchal expectations for a woman to fit a specific image. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a “nymph” is a divinity of nature in classic mythology represented as a beautiful maiden. 

Martinez said they wanted this song to take on a “bratty and feminine” tone, as the point of it is to embrace femininity in the same way that men mock it. 

“EVIL” is also predicted to be dedicated to Tree. This track revolves around how Martinez’s partner always acted as the victim, labeling her as the evil one. 

The final track is titled “WOMB”. This song is about leaving the safety of the womb and entering the real world. 

“WOMB” ends with the lyrics “Life is death is life is death is life is…,” and the first track begins with the lyrics, “Death is life is death is life…” This transition creates a perfect loop back to track one, essentially completing the cycle of death and rebirth.

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