Melanie Martinez’s “Portals”: A Disappointing Last Album 

Melanie Martinez’s “Portals”: A Disappointing Last Album 

Ava Wine, Staff Writer

Melanie Martinez is a well-known songwriter because of her interesting and unique song concepts. She has three albums, all following a character’s journey through life. When asked about these themes and how they are spread throughout their albums, they write, “I wanted to introduce the character, move through the growing pains of childhood with them, then use school as an analogy for life and the systems of power…. Then with Portals… it shows the afterlife of the character to give hope that there is life after death.”  But was this album all that it was promised to believe?  

Each song is going to be ranked out of ten with three points for music, three for lyrics, two for length and interest, and lastly, two for overall storyline. Martinez’s first song on the album is called “Death.” I personally did not like this song. The song was repetitive and got almost annoying with the lyrics, “I’m back from the dead” being repeated 49 times in a five-minute song. The song was long to begin with and when dynamics were not added it made it very hard to get through. Martinez wanted this song to demonstrate her old albums “dying” and this new version of music being born. Overall, I would give this song a seven and a half our of ten ranking because of the repetition and length.  

The second song is called “Void.” I personally did not like the beginning of this song because it is spoken and sped up and then the music begins. However, this is one of the songs that I could see myself adding to a playlist or listening to more often. I feel like the music in this song was surprising and unlike Martinez’s old albums. I liked the lyrics because they were strategic, and they followed the album ideas. I would take a point off because it was between four to five minutes. Overall, I’d give it a nine.

The third song is “Tunnel Vision,” and this song is something you could have played in the background because it is not distracting. This song was like Martinez’s first album which caused me to lose interest in the song. Overall, the lyrics were a little repetitive but the length of the song was five minutes, so that is not surprising. I would give this an eight. 

My favorite song from this album is called, “Faerie Soiree.” This song is one of my favorites from this album. The song was very “soft,” and at 1:50 minutes into the song the music stops playing and it is just Martinez singing which I thought was a very interesting approach. I also liked the length of this song; it was just under three minutes. I would give this song a nine and a half with a deduction for the ending because it began to become repetitive.    

“Spider Web,” “Womb,” “Evil,” “Nymphology,” and “Moon Cycle” are all songs from this album that I do not think I would ever listen to again. These were songs that were more concept based and not music based. I disliked the irony and lyrics in this song because they contradicted themselves. For example, “Nymphology” and “Evil” are the exact opposite of each other. “Nymphology” is a very lighthearted song about how accepting people are, while “Evil” demonstrates the two sides of society and how quick people are to betray others. If I were to rate these songs, they would all score a five or under. 

“Leeches” was not my favorite, but I did like it more than some other songs. I liked the small details added to this song like how when the lyrics,”stop your breathing” was said the music cut off and was silent for a second. I did not like the music for the last three seconds but other than that I thought the lyrics, music and storyline were pretty consistent with the story and not repetitive. I would leave a point off for not having that much dynamic and not leaving any impression. 

“Battle of The Larynx “was a very interesting song for Martinez to create because it had a very slow beat, which they usually try to avoid in their music. This song was the last push to demonstrate the rebirth of Martinez’s albums. I personally thought this song was generic and a common song that you could find from other artists. If I had to rank this song, I would give it a seven with points for the music and lyrics. I thought the length of this song was fine, but it seemed repetitive.  

Her last song on this album is called “The Contortionist.” This song was supposed to represent not doing things that you do not want to for another person, but I did not see that from this album. I thought this song was honestly quite strange and graphic with the repeated cracks and snaps in the background of the music representing bones breaking. I saw this song as disturbing and something I would not listen to another time. Overall, a six because the lyrics were very smart, and it stayed on theme the whole time.  

 This album was also long , with 13 songs and a total time of 51 minutes in the full album. I wish that Martinez had spent more time working on stronger ideas and then tied the idea of rebirth in by advertising her album. This album was a major letdown for Martinez’s long-term fans. Her songs lacked individuality and unique qualities with repetition and weak lyrics.