Crybaby is gone as Melanie Martinez reborn: Review

Sarah SheltonPhoto Editor

Crybaby is no more as Melanie Martinez’s new era is born.

After Martinez competed in “The Voice” back in 2012, she then released an EP which evolved into her first album, “Cry Baby” in 2015.

Since this, Martinez has played a character/ kept her persona named Crybaby. This included pastel aesthetics and childhood concept songs to talk about serious topics. This includes “Dollhouse,” a song about how bad a family is behind closed doors, and “Tag You’re It,” which talks about assault.

After Cry Baby, we move into 2019, her “K-12” era where the concept is basically the same, except it moves through Crybaby’s life. This album came with a movie-type video that features all of the songs and their meanings. This can be viewed on YouTube.

Martinez then released the “After School EP” in 2020 with similar songs, but ones that just did not fit with the storyline for “K-12.”

Now, Crybaby is no longer with the release of “PORTALS.”

Martinez released “THE HATCHING,” music video for her “PORTALS” iTunes album buyers and Apple Music only. This shows a creature being born out of an egg.

I honestly have to get used to the new creature vibes. For the music videos, absolutely. But she recently took the stage in full prosthetics. I miss seeing her face.

The creature is a light pink, four-eyed fairy.

Other teaser visuals showed “R.I.P CRYBABY” carved into a mushroom.

The first song to be released from the album was on March 17, titled “DEATH.”

I really enjoyed this song. It felt like a powerful new beginning, even if it is quite repetitive. 

Martinez sings about the creature who has returned from the dead with the repetitive “I’m back from the dead” line to show she is returning to the music industry, but differently. I really enjoy the beat drops, guitar and drums. This must sound amazing live.

I liked the music video that accompanied this song because it shows her Crybaby character getting reborn into this spiritual creature. It really keeps the Crybaby storyline going, instead of softer songs, this album gives a dark-pop and pop-punk feel.

The next song came out days before the album, on March 29, titled “VOID.”

Martinez writes in a Tik Tok that the song is self-written and self-produced. 

The song had the same vibe as “DEATH,” and that this point, I knew it was going to be a cohesive album. 

“VOID,” however, is about going insane with cruel thoughts about yourself. 

There is one lyric in the song that fans are debating what it says. It either says, “I hate who I was before” or “Why hate who I was before?” Either way, I think the lyrics to this song are deep and this song is something I have definitely felt before because of society. 

Finally, on March 31 the rest of the album, “PORTALS,”  became available on streaming platforms. It has 13 songs, not including “THE HATCHING.”

“DEATH” is track one and “VOID” is track two. Track 3 is titled “TUNNEL VISION.”

According to Apple Music, Martinez said “I wrote this song while in Hawaii in February 2021 with Kinetics & One Love. We were surrounded by coqui frogs singing to us, the sound of rain hitting the roof and pure connection.”

I personally believe this song is about how she was body shamed during her music video for “The Bakery” and how someone, probably her ex, only wants her for her body.

I really like the music and autotune used in this song. You can still hear her soft vocals with a bit of fun editing to them. It probably gives the most traditional pop feel out of the 13 songs.

The next song’s title, “FAERIE SOIRÉE,” reminds me of my French-Canadian history. Martinez is Canadian and in french, soirée means an evening party. I like how this song has layered vocal tracks with an alternative touch.

Track five, “LIGHT SHOWER,” gave the album the ballad-like touch it needed. 

The next song, “SPIDER WEB” is about “social media’s chokehold on society,” according to Apple Music. I personally relate, minus the parts about being famous, because I am obviously not. The backbeat of this song makes the sad lyrics sound fun. 

The next few songs, “LEECHES,” “BATTLE OF THE LARYNX,” are slower.

Track nine, “THE CONTORTIONIST,” reminds me of a toxic relationship I was in. This is definitely one of my favorites on the album as I love relatable lyrics, the orchestra touch, and the exciting beat. This also goes for Track 12, “EVIL.”

“MOON CYCLE,” seems to be about menstrual cycles, also known as periods, stereotypes. Fun fact for misogynists, according to Great Green Wall, testosterone levels rise during the period. Yes, the common male hormone. 

This is probably one of my least favorite songs on the album, but I love the meaning. Plus, it may be shade towards her ex, Oliver Tree’s, lyric in his song “revival,” “I’m angry and bloody like a [censore b-word] on her period.”

The last songs, “NYMPHOLOGY” and “WOMB,” are amusing and very entertaining. 

While I miss Crybaby, this is definitely an interesting and thrilling change.

The album ends with the lyric, “life is death, is life is death, is life, is—” 

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