Singer Marina Lambrini Diamandis of Marina and the Diamonds attends...

Singer Marina Lambrini Diamandis of Marina and the Diamonds attends T4 On The Beach in England. (July 1, 2012) Credit: Getty Images

Marina and the Diamonds certainly don't lack ambition. On "Electra Heart" (Elektra), the British band tries to outpace everything from its successful 2010 debut "The Family Jewels" -- bigger dance beats, broader lyrical concepts and way more drama from Marina Diamandis' acrobatic vocals. That means attempting jaded, step-by-step relationship guides that also get fists pumping ("How to Be a Heartbreaker") or dance floor anthems that combine feminist theory with swooping vocals ("Sex Yeah"). Unfortunately, the group can't quite pull most of it off, coming off heavy-handed ("Homewrecker") or histrionic ("Starring Role"). Marina may strive to be the next Kate Bush, but too often here she's a second-rate Katy Perry.

MARINA AND THE DIAMONDS

"Electra Heart"

GRADE B-

BOTTOM LINE Dance pop that aims high but falls short

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