Marina Diamandis is a curious specimen, seeming silly on the macro scale but revealing herself a more canny artist upon closer inspection — and then, when you look closer still, becoming silly again. It’s that last level that separates her from, say, Regina Spektor. But “FROOT” offers some tantalizing flashes of that middle layer, including a title track beginning as chirpy Eurodisco camp (with a unifying metaphor stretching the definition of “unsubtle“) that deceptively sets up the satisfyingly adult seduction of the chorus. Diamandis is enamored with deploying a soprano that’s simultaneously angelic and goofy, but she’s better flying at the lower altitude of the lush, itchy “Better Than That,” where her voice has darker, richer colors. (She shifts effortlessly between registers in the openhearted and futile “Weeds.”) Grand statements about humanity in “Savages” and “Immortal” fall flat, and moments like the three-syllable “di-a-mond” in “Solitaire” mistake quirk for personality. But a few slices of “FROOT” are exactly ripe enough. (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “Better Than That“
Marina and the Diamonds perform at Boston Calling Music Festival on May 23.Marc Hirsh can be reached at email@example.com.