Review: A portal into Melanie Martinez’s new album


Melanie Martinez has been creating music since her initial appearance on the American televised competitive singing program, The Voice, in 2012. Although she didn’t win the third season, Martinez began her musical career. In this, Melanie’s signature split-dye hairstyle was born. Many of her fans associate Martinez with her colorful hair as a vital part of their appearance and creativity intertwined in her songs and visuals of their music videos.

Soon after becoming signed to Atlantic Records in 2014, her fame arose with the release of her songs, “Dollhouse” and “Carousel.” The young artist’s music can be classified into multiple genres such as Alternative pop, Electropop, and Indie pop. 

Martinez’s first studio album debuted in 2015. Among its release, Crybaby, Melanie Martinez’s fanbase began referring to themselves as, “Crybabies.” 

K-12, released in 2019, serves as Melanie Martinez’s second studio album. The artist’s vision for this album was to create a cinematic experience by developing a plot throughout each music video and constructing them all together to create a film of a little over an hour and a half.  The artist has referred to her albums as a trilogy, with her recent one fulfilling it. According to Spotify’s statistics, Martinez receives an influx of 20.1 million listeners monthly on the streaming platform alone. 

The newest addition to her discography is Portals. The 13 songs on the tracklist in order are:


totaling up to fifty-one minutes and 43 seconds. 

Portals was released on March 31, 2023, with “Death” debuting first on March 17 and its music video released on YouTube on March 24. On March 29, Void followed and released just days before the entire tracklist. 

On April 5, the deluxe version of Portals was announced to the public including the tracks:




By deleting her past Instagram posts and teasing with the statement, “RIP Cry Baby,” carved into a mushroom from the DEATH music video, the creative artist ushers in a new era of change by experimenting with her sound and appearance. In the same music video, Crybaby is seen being buried in her grave which is symbolic of the change they are experiencing as an artist and as an individual. As her persona of Crybaby apparently passed away, a new character emerged. This character carries the features of a four-eyed, fairy-like mythical creature with pink skin and green hair and leaves fans wondering what this new age will bring. This recent album carries with it a majestic and heavily spiritual theme with notes of cheeriness as well as dark and grim elements.

The 27-year-old artist did a deep dive on her Instagram account that further elaborates on the meaning, inspiration, and writing process behind each song. Martinez relates many heartfelt experiences in her lyrics as shown throughout her songs, however, she continues by bringing in elements inspired by her recent relationship with Oliver Tree, and personal growth as a person in the public eye.

Online, Martinez has expressed that the album’s name originates from a room in her old home in which she felt spiritual connections that inspired her to write six of the 13 total songs. In this, she elaborates further on her spirituality and practices.

Originally, the purpose of Portals was to emphasize the importance of accepting life after death through the mortality of Crybaby. Martinez wants to lessen the stigma surrounding heavy topics such as death and provide a sense of hopefulness in the afterlife which frightens many people.

Pearl Solis, a REV junior, shares her thoughts, “I have been a fan of Melanie for many years so I was very excited when she announced her release of Portals. I think this may be my favorite album of theirs, it is such a different and new sound and style to her previous albums. I love that we can see her transformation through the death of Crybaby and the “rebirth” of her as an artist. I think my favorite tracks so far are either Evil, Light Shower, or Spider Web, specifically Light Shower because it is so abnormal for Melanie to sing about relationships without pain and hurt. She paints this track in such a beautiful and positive light, although I genuinely love every single song. Again, I think it’s so special that we can see Melanie’s growth as an artist and person and the ways her outlook and perspective on life and relationships have changed.” 

“I really like this album because, like her other albums, it speaks a lot about social and personal issues. I like that they’re exploring a new theme and aesthetic with their music,” said REVjJunior Emma McMillan.

Down the center column in the second row, Melanie Martinez’s merchandise with her signature split-dyed hair can be seen. Directly under that is the new, Portals, official album cover, taken on April 17, 2023, in a Hot Topic in Redlands, California.
(ALEX VERDUZCO/ Ethic News Photo)

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