North Texas Daily

Melanie Martinez unveils Crybaby’s evolution in new album ‘PORTALS’

Melanie Martinez unveils Crybaby’s evolution in new album ‘PORTALS’

Melanie Martinez unveils Crybaby’s evolution in new album ‘PORTALS’
April 09
13:00 2023

After months of teasing and excitement, Melanie Martinez has finally released their third studio album, “PORTALS.”

The album picks up after the “K-12” film where Martinez’s character, Crybaby, decides between following Lillith or staying on the mortal plane.

First up on the tracklist is “DEATH.” As the song’s title suggests, “DEATH” explores themes of life, death and rebirth – literally and metaphorically.

On the literal side, the song talks about death as a natural part of life that should be embraced. Metaphorically, it discusses the death of Martinez’s career with the negative attention they face and their self-imposed hiatuses. 

Immediately following is “VOID,” which expands on the themes the first track laid out. Like the theme of death, the void is used as a double entendre. In one sense, the void is what people are met with in the afterlife. In another, the void is the mental anxieties Martinez faces.

Martinez shifts away from the theme of death in the next song, “TUNNEL VISION.” Tunnel vision is a term used to describe the act of solely focusing on a single goal, blocking out everything else. In Martinez’s case, they sing about a lover who’s only interested in their body, not anything else Martinez could provide. 

“FAERIE SOIREE”  is a light-hearted, upbeat break in the album. It explores the theme of psychedelics and hallucinations. In the end, Martinez gives themself over to the drugs and escapes the world weighing on them. 

The sixth track, “LIGHT SHOWER,” is the slowest and softest of the album. Martinez sings about the cleansing love of their partner, which is like nothing they’ve had before. Despite the unfamiliarity of it, Martinez is content to soak in their love, like rays from the sun. 

“SPIDER WEB” shifts the album’s tone once again, this time, toward publicity and fame. The song paints social media as an entrapping force that lures people in, only to devour them later. At first it may seem harmless, but once ensnared, you can never leave — which is especially true for celebrities. 

“LEECHES” further expands on this topic, but narrows its point of view. Instead of commenting on society as a whole, the track talks about society’s drain on celebrities, drinking them dry until they have nothing left to give. 

Martinez further narrows the scope to themself in their next track, “BATTLE OF THE LARYNX.” The pre-chorus specifically addresses the hatred Martinez has faced from social media, as well as negative allegations. Throughout the song, Martinez makes it clear that they choose their words precisely, and arguing with them would be pointless. 

“THE CONTORTIONIST” and “EVIL” are the ninth and 12th tracks on the album. They each address the theme of toxic relationships.

In “THE CONTORTIONIST,” Martinez sings about bending yourself until you break to fit another’s standards, while “EVIL” does the opposite. In the 12th track, Martinez sings about being fed up with toxicity. However, when they call their narcissistic lover, they are gaslit and accused of being the problem instead.

It would not be a Melanie Martinez album if there wasn’t at least one uncomfortable song for listeners. “MOON CYCLE” is meant to be a rib at misogynistic men who think that periods are something to be ashamed of. Martinez puts a spin on this by singing about their male lover that can’t get enough of them during their “moon cycle.”

“NYMPHOLOGY” expands on Crybaby’s reincarnated identity. While Crybaby is indeed a nymph, she refuses to follow the stereotypes of being weak and victimized by the patriarchy. 

The final song of the album brings listeners full circle. “WOMB” is pretty much what one would think with the given title. The song focuses on the moments right before Crybaby’s rebirth – the uncertainty and excitement that comes with it. 

The album ends in the same way it begins, with the final words of “WOMB” being “Life is death” and the first words of “DEATH” being “Death is life.” 

Everything about this album screams Melanie Martinez. From the electronic pop tracks to the eccentricity of Crybaby’s evolution, the record fits right into Martinez’s discography.

While it was a great way to break their hiatus, Martinez has certainly left fans wondering where Crybaby will go next. 

Xander’s rating: 5/5

Featured Illustration by Isabella Isquierdo

About Author

Xander Weems

Xander Weems

Related Articles


No Comments Yet!

There are no comments at the moment, do you want to add one?

Write a comment

Write a Comment

The Roundup

<script id="mcjs">!function(c,h,i,m,p){m=c.createElement(h),p=c.getElementsByTagName(h)[0],m.async=1,m.src=i,p.parentNode.insertBefore(m,p)}(document,"script","");</script>

Search Bar

Sidebar Thumbnails Ad

Sidebar Bottom Block Ad

Flytedesk Ad