(Image via musicscenemedia.com)
Staff Writer: Rena Danho
Melanie Martinez’s 3rd Record Album, PORTALS, was released on March 31st, 2023.
Cry Babies everywhere eagerly awaited this album, as it is Martinez’s first album since K-12, which came out on September 3rd, 2019.
Cry Babies noticed right away the change in Melanie Martinez’s look.
Initially, Martinez was known for having split-dyed hair, a pastel color palette, and wearing mostly dresses.
Martinez has been teasing the album via Instagram since February 18th, 2023. Fans got their first look at her new appearance on February 22nd, 2023, with a teaser video.
Her new style resembles a supernatural fairy creature with four eyes and pink skin.
Right off the bat, fans were either excited about Martinez’s new look and new music, or they were disappointed and claimed that they “miss the old Melanie Martinez.”
In her new song “VOID,” Martinez sings: “I hate who I was before.”
Many fans support Melanie and her shift in her music and look because it seems that Martinez is finally becoming the artist and the person she wants to be.
Leading up to the album, Martinez made sure everyone knew about it.
Aside from the teasers on her social media platforms, her website took a big turn and is now visually and thematically similar to the album.
On her Youtube, all of her old video thumbnails have been changed to an image of what seems to be the gravestone for “Cry Baby.”
Lucky fans also had the chance to receive a gift from Martinez, which included an egg with a note saying, “hatch me.”
When fans broke open the egg, they found a USB that had a snippet of a new song from the album.
Shortly after this, Martinez performed at Lollapalooza Brazil, where she first debuted her new look and songs.
Through a combination of videos from her live performance and some audio getting leaked, people were slowly listening to the new songs, even learning the lyrics before they had been released by Martinez.
She addressed this issue at her live performance and called fans out for listening to her unreleased songs.
Before the album was released, Martinez released “DEATH” and “VOID.” Right now on Spotify, “DEATH” and “VOID” are in the top 5 for her most popular songs and are arguably two of the most popular songs on the album.
The music video for “DEATH” shows how this new version of Martinez is actually the same Cry Baby we’ve known since 2015 and that she’s “back from the dead.”
Finally, on March 31st, the album PORTALS was released with 13 new songs.
On an Instagram story highlight, Martinez talks about the album, educating her fans on the background of PORTALS.
According to Martinez, this is the last album that will be a part of the Cry Baby series.
Martinez hopes that her audience will embrace the ideals from the album: “I hope the weight of mortality that society has placed on people becomes lighter. I hope grief becomes easier for people while listening to this record. That they can enjoy this life to the fullest knowing we’re all just here to grow, create, feel, and have shared experiences with one another to help each other evolve.”
I highly recommend listening to this album. Each song has its own story that Martinez explains in her highlighted story.
To give you a preview of a few of the songs from the album, I wanted to highlight:
For Martinez, “VOID” was the first song she fully produced. She explains that in the chorus of this song, she was screaming the lyrics and crying.
Martinez elaborates that the song was a way of lifting the weight of anxiety off of her brain.
“A void. A dark palace where you are left alone with your own thought for introspection, in order to find the light within yourself.”
“MOON CYCLE” is an interesting song and one you probably haven’t heard of before.
Martinez clarifies that she wanted to write a song about a “taboo” topic when, in reality, it is something that a lot of people deal with daily.
In the end, she decided to do a song about menstruation and how “blood represents vitality and life.”
Interestingly enough, the introduction to the song is about Martinez’s period cramps that she recorded on her phone.
“With the conflict of patriarchal society brainwashing straight cis men to believe they should have any kind of say over other people’s bodies, and also the general kind of ick that they get from the discussion of menstruation, I wanted to make the song extra uncomfy for them before going on to describe a man who lives for period sex!”
“EVIL” is Martinez’s favorite song from this album. Being about her last relationship with Oliver Tree, she wanted the lyrics to be “the most savage and the most cunty.”
She points out that she kept rewriting the lyrics because she didn’t feel that they were mean enough.
“It’s about dealing with a narcissist who ironically calls you evil just because you’re able to see through their bullshit. I spent the entire day blowing out my vocal cords recording it.”
“NYMPHOLOGY” was written by Martinez along with CJ and Nick Long.
“I wanted it to be bratty and a commentary piece on the box a lot of men put on femme presenting people, like when they call us names like ‘manic pixie dream girl.’”
Martinez also talks about how men will do this but then turn around and call you crazy when you talk about your feelings towards them, which is shown in the song within the lyrics:
“Be the manic pixie dream girl that you fucking ought to be / Damaged oddity bought by Sotheby’s / Auctioned to a selfish man who thinks that he’s the prophecy”
There is also a special nod to Martinez’s now partner, Verde, with the last note of “NYMPHOLOGY” being the first note of Verde’s song called “Amulet:” “A perfect puzzle piece.”
Although these are just 4 of the 13 songs on PORTALS, each song on the album is amazing.
All of the songs each have their own story, and I highly recommend giving them a listen.
If you are a big Melanie Martinez fan, definitely check out the songs, even though they have a new energy compared to the old songs.