The Chronicles of Marnia

Marnie Stern - The Chronicles of Marnia
Critic Score
Based on 26 reviews
2013 Ratings: #350 / 1100
User Score
Based on 37 ratings
Liked by 1 person
Sign In to rate and review



The Chronicles of Marnia is an album that demands multiple journeys through the wardrobe, only this time it's to fully take in the album's melodic depths rather than to make sense of its technical achievements.

The 405

Things are snappier, more infectious, arguably simpler, but ultimately just as rewarding.

Consequence of Sound

Chronicles, her follow-up, develops the contrast of musical highs and lyrical lows, but this time, her tragedy is her own creativity.

No Ripcord

Every weird twist and turn on The Chronicles of Marnia sounds like the work of a musician so effortlessly absorbed in her craft, so attuned to the expressive qualities of her music, that the internal logic of her songs is completely cohesive and idiosyncratic – and more importantly, really damn fun.

Beats Per Minute

Despite omnipresent everyday obstacles, Stern, 37, is still fine-tuning her sound, still working hard on her craft, still carving out acclaim in a male-dominated field, and ultimately still standing, still shredding.


Tere's something exhilarating in listening to her think out loud — the sureness of her songwriting battling the part of her brain that knows the song will never be enough.


The music on this American singer-songwriter and guitarist extraordinaire’s fourth album is also excellent, and finds the nimble-fingered New Yorker flitting between manic, cheerleaderish pep and losing-team-crying-in-the-locker-room pessimism.


Marnia still sounds like Marnie Stern: aggressive, busy, bright, with death-defying highs and perilous lows.


These 10 songs have a lightness of touch about them that make this Stern’s most accessible, and most enjoyable, album to date.


'The Chronicles Of Marnia' is the sort of album you want to place in a velvet lined box and present to everyone who visits. It's loveable, thrilling and properly innovative. Plus, she can totally shred.

The Fly

As ever, the New Yorker’s guitar skills are incredible: she gives great riff, and her widdly-widdly stuff will make your own fingers ache as you listen.


More than its predecessors, Marnia exists as a kind of safe place, a forum where Stern can confront her deepest anxieties and most crippling self-doubts and always come out on top.

Pretty Much Amazing

Fans of Marnie’s music are fully aware of what an album of hers going to bring, and on The Chronicles of Marnia, she brings it.

Drowned in Sound

An album as loopily titled as The Chronicles of Marnia should be some kind of palliative for the possibly terminal condition of the music industry; a sign that someone is still trying to uphold the ideal that rock can be progressive without fear of mockery, let alone fear of low sales.


The songcraft is so much more accomplished here, in fact, and supports the progression in maturity the lyrics hint at, that the constant return to that finger-tapping technique is both comforting and exhausting.

A.V. Club

The album feels like a forced housecleaning: It’s tidier, simpler, and more spacious, but a lot of personality has been thrown out in the process.


UPDATE: Time to wipe the mascara off and write about this thing for real.

There's this Chinese game show where two people look at an extremely pixelated digital image that is gradually getting better and better resolution, and the first person to guess what it's a picture of wins. Tracking Marnie Stern's output chronologically is kind of like playing that game, and Chronicles of Marnia is where the photo finally comes into view.

I guess it might be easy to write this off as Stern's 'normie' ... read more


Very fun to listen ! Sometimes, her vocals are a bit annoying (not at the same level as charly bliss !) but her tempo is crazy with good lines.


Better stuff out there

Purchasing The Chronicles of Marnia from Amazon helps support Album of the Year. Or consider a donation?
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.

Track List

  1. Year of the Glad
  2. You Don't Turn Down
  3. Noonan
  4. Nothing Is Easy
  5. Immortals
  6. The Chronicles of Marnia
  7. Still Moving
  8. East Side Glory
  9. Proof of Life
  10. Hell Yes

Year End Lists

Sign in to comment
No one has said anything yet.

Added on: December 11, 2012