Unique debut album

Erika Heck and Erika Heck

Unlike Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood, Melanie Martinez continues to prove herself to be a rarity in the business of singing competitions.

After going on “The Voice” in 2012, Martinez has been busy making her own name.

She competed on the third season and was on Team Adam. She was eliminated on week five with fellow team member Amanda Brown.

After “The Voice,” Martinez started working independently and announced she signed to Atlantic Records in April 2014.

A few months after signing with Atlantic, Martinez released her debut single “Dollhouse.” Then in the fall, she released the single “Carousel,” which was used in one of the premieres for the hit FX miniseries “American Horror Story: Freak Show.”

This past July, she released two new singles, “Pity Party” and “Soap,” in anticipation of her debut album.

On August 14th, 2015, Martinez’s album “Cry Baby” made its debut in stores, digitally and on vinyl. The CD versions even come with storybooks.

On the surface, the record is a concept album that is narrated by Martinez’s persona “Cry Baby,” a little girl character inspired by her childhood.

The best phrase I can think of when it comes to describing this album is an R-rated children’s book.

As she makes use of childhood concepts (the title tracks are objects often associated with childhood, such as carousels, doll houses, stuffed animals) and mature themes (drugs, suicide, sex, dating).

Along with these themes, some of the songs also touch on alcoholism, mental illness, self-esteem and body image.

I remember hearing “Dollhouse” while on spring break last semester and the music of the song alone was hypnotizing enough to get stuck in my head after listening once. The sound is electronically childlike, but extremely catchy.

I recommend her music to anyone who’s a fan of electronic artists such as Kat Dahlia and Tove Lo. “Cry Baby” has Kat Dahlia’s catchy rhythms and beats, but Martinez has a wider vocal range than either of the two artists, . She also follows Tove Lo’s “fall-in-love,” “fall-out-of-love,” “I’m an independent woman” story line, except with a dark twist and childhood metaphors. Martinez is a rare singing competition commodity just by being signed to a major record without winning said singing competition. I can’t wait to see what she’ll do next.