Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land

MARINA - Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land
Critic Score
Based on 18 reviews
2021 Ratings: #312 / 752
User Score
2021 Ratings: #415
Liked by 159 people
Sign In to rate and review


The Irish Times

It’s an outrageous album; preposterous, attitude-laden, camp, romantic, strident, gorgeous, gutsy, opulent, girl-powered, arch, hammy, ridiculously tuneful, vocally slipping between operatic soprano and belligerent sass-mouth, every song a killer.


There are few stars like MARINA who find the balance between being unfiltered in their politics while also creating top-tier, intricate pop music.


For eleven years, Diamandis has allowed her muse to guide her wherever it may lead. Having closed any sort of divide between the two sides of her creative mind with Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land, she is currently acting with a new level of control and confidence over her songcraft. 

The Arts Desk

She has clearly rediscovered her muse, resulting in this outrageously enjoyable album.

She was always too interesting to fit into a cookie-cutter hitmaker mould, and here Marina Diamandis settles nicely into her own idiosyncratic groove.

Ancient Dreams is a quick dose of what makes Marina great: heartfelt honesty from a fellow misfit consistently pushing the boundaries of pop.


Marina re-embraces her inner strength and quite possibly creates her magnum opus with Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land.

Under The Radar

The first half of the album is intoxicating—it is danceable and full of fun energy. The second half of the album is all heartbreak and slow piano-filled ballads carried by Marina’s whimsical and hollowing vocals.


A 10-track wonder that is a more mature and eclectic take on her gloriously femme and thundering electro-pop.

The Line of Best Fit

The result reads more like a follow-up to the personal Froot (2015) than it does the collaborative Love + Fear, and finds MARINA emboldening her trademark theatrical glam with sharper edges.

The Forty-Five
Her fifth album, ‘Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land’, reasserts some of the wide-eyed delight of early Marina: the British artist who gushed onto the scene in 2010 replete with diamonds and a glistening soprano.

The unmistakably dramatic pop singer seeks the divine feminine, embracing a bold yet soft aesthetic that’s more effective than some of her lyrics.

Spectrum Culture

While Ancient Dreams succeeds musically, uneven and sometimes heavy-handed lyrics drag the effort down.


The difference between her new material and the ‘Electra Heart’ and ‘The Family Jewels’ albums it sonically references is that ‘Ancient Dreams’ takes itself too seriously.

The Needle Drop

It's admirable that Marina tackles a number of weighty subject matters on Ancient Dreams; unfortunately, there's often not enough follow-through on the musical end.


If there’s anything the album lacks ... it’s some of the knowing playfulness of her previous work. It seems to be missing a slight spark that made Marina such a fun breath of fresh pop air. Maybe that’s the point though. These aren’t fun times, and Marina is here to deliver harsh truths.

The Observer

Anti-misogyny manifesto pop could easily become clumsy and overwrought, but the joy Marina invests into her mannered, quasi-operatic delivery makes sedition sound seductive.

There are some really great moments, for sure, but along with the album’s distinct lack of hooks and catchy choruses that MARINA is usually known for, everything feels pretty elementary.

Ancient Dreams In a Modern Land is not only a return to form for Marina, but on top of that it has surprised itself positively on several occasions. If we don't necessarily find the prowess of the beginnings, on the other hand we quickly forget Love+Fear.

We feel the Welsh singer-songwriter Marina reinvigorated, as some important things that were cruelly missing on her previous and disappointing album Love + Fear. First of all, this hint of madness, as well as this contagious energy as ... read more


She looks like if lana del rey was actually a nice person


O quinto álbum de Marina a põe na posição de uma artista confiante e destemida.


Marina makes a political album, to show us that she's living in a bubble.

She's pushing an agenda down our throat that only works by presenting us a purposefully oversimplified and misconstrued reality. She comes across like Tom MacDonald on this album, just on the other side of the spectrum. "Capitalism made us poor." "I just want a world where I can see the feminine. We only make up one quarter of the government." "I don't want to live in a man's world ... read more


Melhores do álbum: Ancient Dreams in a Modern Land, Venus Fly Trap, Purge The Poison

Pior do álbum: Man’s world


Just the opening song gets you hyped up for the whole album. A grandios invitation compared to the melancholic and sensitive closing song.
I saw someone said "In the beginning she's concentrating her songs on the universe and then ends it with focusing on one person." Definitely a journey of an album.
The production is a mix of 70s, 80s and modern Pop. With some beautiful ballads included.
But the lyrics are the core of this album: Metaphors revelations, a big junk of realism, just in ... read more

Purchasing Ancient Dreams In A Modern Land from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.

Year End Lists

#50/Slant Magazine

Please stay on topic. To go off topic, head to the General Chat.

Sign in to comment

Added on: April 14, 2021