Melanie Martinez delivers Fairycore fuel through new album ‘Portals’


Melanie Martinez. Portals. Atlantic Records, 2023.

Nahomy Guerrero, Opinions Editor

Singer-songwriter Melanie Martinez comes back with the release of her third studio album titled “Portals.” 

The album came out on March 31, features 13 songs. According to the singer all of the songs were inspired by a room in her last home said to have otherworldly activity. This bizarre room was where she meditated and set up an altar to honor the spirits that ultimately inspired the general concept; 6 of 13 songs were written while inside that room.

The album is a continuation to the story of Crybaby, a character that has been the focal point of Martinez’ discography since the release of her first album titled with same name. However, the artist said that she always hopes that listeners can identify or connect somehow with her music rather than just follow the storyline.

According to Martinez, this album is meant to represent the end of Crybaby’s trilogy. The character transcends from child in “Crybaby,” to teenager, into adulthood in “K-19,” and lastly into a spirit in the Cosmos. The artist called it a “mortal vessel” in the album.  Her goal was to speak on issues such as women’s rights to their own bodies, healing, dealing with grief and self-love. In previous album “K-12” she had also focused on speaking on political issues. 

The album features a mixture of rock, pop and Martinez’ usual alternative style. The lyrics were composed in her usual story-telling format, challenging and introducing the listeners with a new concept that goes beyond her usual themes.

The album features Martinez’ ghostly vocals and a brand new fairycore aesthetic with a different look that hides her face and body entirely, transforming her into the mixture of a pink-skinned nymph and a fairy: a set of 4 eyes, large pointed ears and forest-colored hair. 

This new look was first showcased at this year’s Lollapalooza in Brazil. She sang a few singles from her previous records along with new ones from “Portals” such as the title track named “Death.” She said it was a very important song because it was the beginning of this whole new concept. 

Martinez stated that she is no longer going to sing records from her previous albums, as she is exploring a new concept and looking to evolve her musical concept.

While the album has a different concept that extends to the artist removing herself and her image after years of giving life to the character of Crybaby, the album still represents the music and the standard that she is known for–soft vocals and the macabre.

The album provides a unique, whimsical story sure to captivate listeners. Its tranquil music and soothing vocals are what represented Martinez’ style since her debut.

The album is interesting and worth listening to.