Releasing her new album Portals on March 31st, Melanie Martinez finally breaks out of the shadows in a way that’s left fans ecstatic. She began teasing her third studio album at the beginning of the month in ways that sparked much curiosity and confusion about what she had in mind in terms of her new creative vision. With themes of rebirth and a pink, alien-like character, fans wondered, “What happened to Crybaby?” Martinez’ iconic character – the focal point for all of her songs until this album – was announced dead in one of her teasers for Portals; showing a tombstone with “RIP Crybaby” across it. Being a long-time fan, I was shocked when I saw the infamous gravestone. Although, knowing that we would be getting some new sounds from her would ultimately let me be able to forgive her.
And she did not disappoint. The album quickly blew up on TikTok following its release after great efforts to promote the album only through means of showing her new character’s costume and full makeup. As unconventional as it was, it brought a lot of attention, and the majority of fans love all of what this album has given us, including me.
I will miss her Crybaby era just as much as the next person but, like most artists, they change and grow. That is what Portals is all about; growing and moving on which she expresses with her song, “Death.” Martinez explains that she is back from the dead in her new form and that she is no longer Crybaby.
Martinez released “Death” and “Void” as singles before releasing the full album, meaning they were the first tracks of the album to hit TikTok. While many fans on the app liked them and used them in their videos, some felt differently. When she released the full album, however, people who were skeptical at first heard the other songs and came around. Right now, my favorite tracks from the LP are “Battle of the Larynx” and “Evil” because of how relatable they are to me. “Battle of the Larynx” is about the use of language in arguing. Martinez sings about using her voice when she is tempted to. My favorite lyrics are “I’ll wreck you if you chase me, but I’ll be silent ‘til you cross the line”.
“Evil” is about being perceived as the bad guy for cutting someone off that is no longer serving you; something just about everyone has to do at some point in their lives. Martinez’s songs always have themes surrounding real-life obstacles that ordinary people run into, helping to connect her fans to her music. The feeling of being understood and also feeling like you ‘know’ the artist helps with engagement and a strong fan base.
I am very impressed with this new album and I know others are too. Martinez’ has shown immense growth and given us something special with Portals. I hope to see more from her and see how she will further promote the album. We have been blessed with many awesome new releases from our most loved artists in the year so far and it makes me excited for what else is to come onto the music scene.
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