"Marina and the Diamonds" and "sass" really just go hand-in-hand. From teaching us how to be a heartbreaker, to educating us on feminism, to having a song that literally opens with her repeating the word "sex" eight times, Marina is the undisputed queen of musical sass – and it's about time we ranked every Marina song* accordingly. So here goes:
*Okay, so technically this is not every Marina song. Marina seems to have an unlimited vault of secret unreleased songs that even diehard fans have difficulty finding. So for the purposes of this list, we're including the forty-four songs that have been included in any one of her album releases in any country. Anyway, as you were.
Continuing on the theme of ballads from Froot, next up is Weeds. Again, not particularly oozing sass, but it does show off some of the best vocals Miss Diamandis has ever offered us.
Sassiest Line: I miss all of my exes, They're the only ones that know me, And God knows that sex is, A way to feel a bit, a little bit less lonely.
Despite having some of Marina's most powerfully feminist tracks, Froot also houses some of Marina's most beautifully intimate songs. Immortal is one of these. What it lacks in raw kick-assness it certainly makes up for in beauty. But in terms of this list, next!
Sassiest Line: I wanna mean something to somebody else, Feel a significance in the real world, It's not enough to live out a lucky life.
41. The State of Dreaming
Moving away from Marina's latest album, we see our first entry from Electra Heart. The State of Dreaming explores Electra's view on her life and her general mindset, which makes it difficult for it to be overly feisty. Again, amazing song, but again, not particularly sassy.
Sassiest Line: I would sell my sorry soul, if I could have it all.
Our fifth entry from Marina's latest album sees its title track take the no. 39 spot. Despite the generally badass vibes this song emits, it's not actually that sassy. If this was a list of songs most likely to get you swaying those hips with an embarrassing amount of enthusiasm, it would be a different story, but for now? Not so much.
Sassiest Line: Good things come to those who wait, But I ain't in a patient phase.
Now you'd be forgiven for seeing this ranking and being all WHAT? I would be too – it's one of my favourite Marina songs. And it sounds sassy, it really does. But when you look at the lyrics, it's actually not. Seriously – look them up. Who knew, right?
Sassiest Line: Yeah, I'm no good, no good to anyone, 'Cause all I care about is being number one.
37. I'm A Ruin
Another introverted personal song from Marina means Solitaire does not place particularly highly on this list. It does, however, earn its placing due to the independence Marina presents through the lyrics – this is not about what someone thinks she's worth, it's about her knowing that she's worth more than that.
Sassiest Line: Cut like a jewel, yeah I repair, Myself when you're not there.
Much like Numb, the second entry from Marina's debut album sounds like it should be sassy. The general ambience of the track is delightfully dramatic, but in the lyric department, the sass is limited.
Sassiest Line: Running with my roots pulled up, Caught me cold so they could cut, What there was left of love.
The third entry from The Family Jewels, Obsessions was the first song where Marina showed that she could deliver a slower melody just as well as she could a cuckoo-calling cacophony of the senses. The delivery of the words give them a much feistier feel than the lyrics themselves necessarily present, which gives it bonus points.
Sassiest Line: Won't you quit your crying? I can't sleep, One minute I'm a little sweetheart, And next minute you are an absolute creep.
32. Living Dead
Thirteen songs in, and we're only on our second Electra Heart entry. It's from Electra's perspective, as was this whole album, which automatically means it's gonna be sassy – the whole character of Electra is satirical. Living Dead, however, is one of the less sass-fuelled numbers of this era.
Sassiest Lyric: Got bubble wrap around my heart, Waiting for my life to start, But everyday it never comes, Permanently at square one.
31. Fear and Loathing
Supposedly the last chapter in the Electra Heart story – or the first, depending on how you look at it – Fear and Loathing is basically a reflection of Electra Heart's journey – and it's pretty damn depressing. The sass here comes from Electra to herself – to the decisions she's made.
Sassiest Lyric: Got different people inside my head, I wonder which one that they like best.
29. Buy the Stars
If you never purchased the deluxe version of Electra Heart, you may well have missed what many suggest to be Miss Diamandis' most beautiful song to date. This is reminiscent of Marina's previous album in terms of lyricism – it follows the pattern of wealthy people trying to force Marina down a certain path and make her feel a certain way, but as per usual, she sees through them. Although this song feels far more sympathetic than accusatory – a difference from The Family Jewels.
Sassiest Line: And you could buy up all the stars, But it wouldn't change who you are, You're still living in the dark.
Okay, so you are probably wondering if there are any Froot songs left to even pass as contenders for the top spot. But this is the last one for a while – I promise. Gold is basically just Marina saying come on man, step up – I'm getting bored here. And that's pretty sassy.
Sassiest Line: Don't think I want what I used to want, Don't think I see what I used to see.
27. Valley of the Dolls
When initially thinking about creating this list, I was not expecting this song to place as highly as it has. But, actually the lyrics really are pretty darn sassy when you look at them as satire. It's a song entirely about people who've had their time in the spotlight and are now thrown out.
Sassiest Line: Pick a personality for free, When you feel like nobody.
Another one that sounds a lot sassier than it actually is, Guilty doesn't really specifically target anyone but Marina herself, which makes it difficult to throw all that much shade. Much like Shampain, it's quite cryptic, making it difficult to rank.
Sassiest Line: I was just a kid, That you could not forgive, Because it's harder.
24. Lonely Hearts Club
Another song you may have missed if you never explored the deluxe version of Electra Heart, Lonely Hearts Club is poppy and upbeat despite its sombre lyrics, which adds a feistiness and satire to this too often forgotten gem.
Sassiest Line: Love will never be forever, feelings are just like the weather.
22. Teen Idle
The sass in Teen Idle comes through its blatant satire. If any song sums up the character of Electra Heart, it's this melancholic number. And the overenthusiastic cries of "super, super, super!" before "suicidal" is delightfully macabre.
Sassiest Line: I wanna be a virgin pure, A 21st century whore.
21. I Am Not a Robot
We've just passed the halfway spot, and here we encounter the first song that non-Marina fans may have heard of. I Am Not a Robot was many of our first introductions to Marina and it certainly gave us clues to the sassy directions she would take us in.
Sassiest Line: Never committing to anything, You don't pick up the phone when it ring-ring-rings, Don't be so pathetic, Just open up and sing.
As we welcome in the top twenty, we're really starting to get sassy now. Hypocrates sounds gentle and innocent but really Marina – or Electra really – is flipping the bird to the hypocrite in question. (Also, sidenote: I swear I'm the only person who did not realise this was pronounced like "Socrates" and wasn't just a weird spelling of "hypocrites")
Sassiest Line: Who are you to tell me, tell me, Who to, to be, to be?
19. Starring Role
18. Are You Satisfied?
The first song on the first album, Are You Satisfied? let us know immediately that Marina meant business. It sets the foundation for the entire first album, and indeed most of Marina's songs to date. And damn is it sassy.
Sassiest Line: People like to tell you what you're gonna be, It's not my problem if you don't see what I see, And I do not give a damn if you don't believe.
16. Mowgli's Road
At this point, I'd like to share with you an extract from a critic's review of this song. Stuart Heritage of The Guardian thought Mowgli's Road "could easily be a hit; or, rather, the first couple of minutes could. Then it descends into a lunatic mixture of monkey wails, whistling and childlike nightmare mumbles that may well be responsible for my chronic insomnia". Beautiful.
Sassiest Line: You say Y-E-S to everything, Will that guarantee you a win?
Surely the most iconic song from The Family Jewels, Hollywood is, as the title suggests, a satire on this Hollywood mindset that has, well, infected our brains. Who even is the target here? Is it the listener? Is it society? Is it Marina herself? She's firing in all directions and that earns this song its ranking.
Sassiest Line: He said "Oh my God, you look just like Shakira! No, no, you're Catherine Zeta!", "Actually, my name's Marina." (Okay, so there are probably sassier lines in this song, but this line is just. So. Iconic.)
14. Oh No!
13. The Outsider
Continuing this chain of songs from Marina's debut album, The Outsider makes no apologies for its bluntness. You can absolutely imagine Marina saying every one of these lyrics unapologetically to the face of whomever the target of this song was.
Sassiest Line: And I grinned at you softly, 'Cause I'm a fucking WILD card! (The way she roars "wild" does things to me.)
12. Hermit the Frog
Firstly, let's take a moment to appreciate the title of this song. Okay. Done? Good. Now, let's appreciate the sass – the delivery of these lyrics sees Marina's lips spitting shade left, right and centre. The emphasis of "bitch" in the line "did you find your bitch in me?" should be particularly applauded. It's savage.
Sassiest Line: I wanna tell you a secret, You can take your double standard love and keep it.
10. Power and Control
If one title embodies what Electra Heart was all about, it's Power and Control. Throughout the entire era, we're taught about how seeing love as a game of who has the most power is dangerous, and this song encapsulates it all.
Sassiest Line: Think you're funny, think you're smart, Yeah, you may be good-looking but you're not a piece of art.
9. The Family Jewels
It's time for a real throwback. Despite being its namesake, the song The Family Jewels only appears on the UK deluxe version of the album, meaning many people may have missed this ruthless attack on her family. Very rarely does Marina actually specifically mention who her songs are about, but this shade-filled number makes no apologies for its bluntness.
Sassiest Line: Did I beat you at your own game? Typical of me to put us all to shame.
8. Can't Pin Me Down
After a long break, we return to Marina's latest album. Can't Pin Me Down is fantastically feminist and addresses almost everyone who has any opinion on Marina, including critics and fans alike. It takes a very brave artist to actually comment on her fans in a way anything less than overly positively, but in the line "Do you really want me to write a feminist anthem? I'm happy cooking dinner in the kitchen for my husband", she lets us all know that she doesn't have to prove herself as a feminist. YAS MARINA!
Sassiest Line: You might think I'm one thing, but I am another, You can't call my bluff, Time to back off, motherfucker.
7. Sex Yeah
Seeing the title, you'd be forgiven for thinking this was going to be about, well, sex. And it is. But in a much bigger sense – it's about gender roles, it's about feminism, it's about oppression. Despite our discussion about Marina not writing a "feminist anthem" in Can't Pin Me Down, Sex Yeah really isn't far from it.
Sassiest Line: If women were religiously recognised sexually, We wouldn't have to feel the need to show our ass – it's to feel free.
6. How To Be a Heartbreaker
From this point onwards, it's probably a matter of me validating these songs placing higher than How to Be a Heartbreaker. But hear me out, if you will, for we have entered the top five, and greeting us at the entrance is Savages. Pretty much the only Marina song that directly references a cultural event (the Boston bombings), this song is a raw and unfiltered criticism of almost every aspect of 21st century society. It feels almost trivial to call it sassy – it's so much more profound than that.
Sassiest Line: Were we born to abuse, shoot a gun and run, Or has something deep inside of us come undone? Is it a human trait, or is it learned behaviour? Are you killing for yourself, or killing for your saviour?
4. Bubblegum Bitch
The first song off Electra Heart clearly must be a favourite of Marina's as it remains to open her standard concert set list three years after it debuted. And you can see why. It's unapologetic and uncaring, poppy and patronising, fun and fierce. I mean the song is called Bubblegum Bitch! Need I say more?
Sassiest Line: I'll chew you up and I'll spit you out, 'Cause that's what young love is all about. So pull me closer, and kiss me hard, I'm gonna pop your bubblegum heart.
2. Better Than That
The final song before we hit the top spot, and Better Than That is a shade-throwing, sass-mongering work of art. Its first line – "You're just another in a long line of men she screwed" – is savage. When Marina goes straight to the point, she can make a lyric feel like a bullet, and, by that logic, this song is firing like a machine gun. In my opinion, a very worthy runner-up.
Sassiest Line: I'm not passing judgement on her sexual life, I'm passing judgement on the way she always stuck her knife in my back.