Melanie Martinez PORTALS album review – a psychedelic trip to a new dimension.  (2023)

On March 31stMelanie Martinez released her third studio album PORTALS. For the first time, we see Martinez credited as a music producer, making this her most self-involved album so far.

The album is comprised of 13 songs and covers the topics of life, death, and everything in between. This album has stepped away from the metaphorical devices Melanie Martinez used in her previous albums, allowing us to explore a new part of the world created in previous albums.

The sound of the album is fresh. It explores different electronic beats and baselines, combining these with the classic Melanie Martinez sound – notes that jump in scale and nursery rhyme-sounding instrumentals, with staggered xylophone notes – often deepened with violin or harp strings.

The theme of the album is the cycle of life and death, it is never-ending. This is explored through the storytelling of Crybaby’s rebirth.Starting with DEATH and ending with WOMB, covering other stages of life in between.

In DEATH, we hear Crybaby yearning for help, trying to enter the real world after facing death, making it through the barriers and into her new life. In WOMB she is being born into a new body and is worried about what she is yet to face. Its position at the end of the album, rather than the beginning signifies the theme of the never-ending cycle.

Although this album has stepped away from Martinez’s previous childlike storytelling, the sound of PORTALS is undeniably authentic. Each song holds a deeper meaning, as in her previous album. This time the track’s deeper meanings are told through an eccentric, fairy-like, psychedelic style of storytelling. Throwing you deep into another world.

The transitions between each track are seamless with each song ending with varying white noise which acts as interludes between tracks. This creates a smooth album which plays as a non-stop, never-ending loop. Once again, reflecting the theme of the album.

Portals allowed Melanie Martinez to flaunt a skill she hasn’t previously revealed. Towards the end of NYMPHOLOGY, she essentially comes on the mic and drops bars, genuinely unexpected. It is amazing.

Overall, the album has an upbeat sound with a general feeling of positivity and by the end, the clarification of self-acceptance. We see a direct slam to her ex-partner Oliver Tree in the sassiest, most feminist way possible in the track MOON CYCLE.

(Video) Melanie Martinez- PORTALS Album REACTION

One of my favourite tracks on the album, is about the stereotypes of women during menstruation, implying it makes them weak – this is the approach Tree took with his lyrics I’m angry and bloody like a bitch on her period. Martinez discusses her strength found during menstruation – Matter of fact, right now I could build a pyramid – opposing the view society has on menstruation, using her ex as an example.

PORTALS is a perfect balance of a fresh approach to the character of Crybaby with a new sound. Without losing the feeling of a natural development from previous albums – Crybaby and K-12. This really highlights the mastermind which is Melanie Martinez. It’s exciting to see her grow her skills into production, and receiving credit for her genius ideas.


PORTALS is the third stage of Crybaby’s life presented by Martinez. Although we see growth in the character, it’s not in the same way as done before. PORTALS has allowed Crybaby to delve into a new dimension of the same world and she is rocking a brand new alien face too.

The album begins with her death, and from that her fight to make it into her new life. By the end of the first track DEATH, we hear heavy breathing and fast-paced footsteps. It’s then that we know. She’s back.

The storyline within the album continues to weave amongst themes that seem otherworldly and extraterrestrial. We watch her go from DEATH and into VOID, where at a surface level we hear the story of being in the void which is in between life and death. On a deeper level we learn of her insecurities and how she wishes she didn’t feel them.

From this we watch Crybaby learn and fight against society’s view of women in TUNNEL VISION – Like themes we see inStrawberry Shortcakefrom the K-12 album. A strong character development is reflected in the meaning of the two songs though.

Strawberry Shortcake goes into surface-level depth, whereas TUNNEL VISION dives deeper into what it means to be over-sexualised by society. This time going further and expressing the want to be seen as an individual.

FAERIE SOIREE and LIGHT SHOWER tell the story of Crybaby being led into a toxic relationship. She falls in love and in turn her perspective on the world around her changes –all my anger, sadness, regret disappeared.

This shows the growth she was yearning for in VOID, a positive outlook she wished she had. However, this quickly turns sour when Crybaby begins to see the negativity, controlling behaviour and lack of individualism this relationship brings her.

(Video) Metal Heads React to "THE CONTORTIONIST" by Melanie Martinez

Cryaby begins to wake up to the cycle of the toxic relationship, mirroring the cycle of life and death. LEECHES, BATTLE OF THE LARYNX and THE CORTOTIONIST express this. She wakes up to the negativity and in response decides not to rise to it.

This grows and develops further in NYMPHOLOGY, EVIL, and WOMB where Crybaby builds the strength to stand up for herself in her negative situations and toxic relationships. We watch her self-worth and independence grow.

Crybaby’s tale (so far) ends here, In WOMB, a direct reference to a scene in K-12 “start in the womb end in the tomb” summing up the character development of Crybaby as now she is ending in the womb.

Metaphors and meanings

Melanie Martinez is well known for her artistic imagery and smart metaphors buried within her music. Her songs are upbeat, catchy and fun, but when observed at a deeper level, Martinez produces music which is relevant and emotionally hard-hitting. PORTALS is no exception.

There is strong imagery surrounding a psychedelic landscape and atmosphere with an emphasis on nature, insects and mythical creatures. Giving the theme of the never-ending cycle of life feel exciting and ethereal.

VOID is one of the tracks on the album that accurately represents how Martinez likes to present the meaning of her songs. An upbeat sounding track that covers themes that contradict the sound of the track. Intrusive thoughts, anxiety and self-deprecating negativity. ‘The void’ refers to the feeling of being stuck in the void of your own thoughts, being consumed by them.

FAERIE SOIRÉE is one of my favourites on the album simply because of its intricate metaphors and hard-to-deceiver meanings – reminding me of the Crybaby album era. We hear the story of falling into a toxic relationship, being led astray by something that seems good on the surface –led me astray to the fairie soiree alone, alone. Now I wanna ride with magic. As a whole, the track represents what it’s like to be gaslit.

The tracks on the album can have multiple meanings, which is one of the best things about Martinez’s music. Just like towards the end of FAERIE SOIRÉE Martinez sings ‘gather me, all of we, everyone I’ve been the boys and the girls and everyone in between’ although this relates directly to the theme of the never-ending cycle of life. It could also be a reference to toxic relationships affecting everyone, and she is telling their story too in telling her own.

A new theme is explored by Martinez in SPIDERWEB, covering the topic of society’s addiction to technology alongside her rise to fame in such a world. We hear her wish she wasn’t in the limelight because of it, and we hear her pity those who are-securing their spot on the spider web.

(Video) PSYCHOTHERAPIST REACTS to Melanie Martinez- K-12 The Film (Part 3)

The strongest imagery is seen in BATTLE OF THE LARYNX holding a metaphor for verbal arguments, referring to them as a battle. Using this metaphor to delve into her exploring the strength she holds in her voice, and the damage she can do with her words. It’s about sticking to your own feelings and standards and using your voice to do so.

NYMPHOLOGY and EVIL both carry similar metaphors revealing self-worth and fighting for it, hidden by different imagery. The first uses folklore imagery of a nymph, a metaphor for the expectations men have of women – nymphs representing femininity and fertility.In response, Martinez preaches not to read into sociality-based expectations –be the manic pixie dream girl that you ought to be.

Taking a different approach to a similar theme, EVIL presents the realisation of being in a toxic relationship, self-growth and being happy to have come to this realisation. It carries themes of empowerment –bite my hand again, I will never feed you

Tracks EVIL and WOMB tie up the album, a full circle being made. Throughout the album, there have been themes of insecurities based on others’ thoughts and opinions, whereas now we see an exception in that her worth is more than how she is perceived by other people.

Martinez finishes the album with a direct reference to Soap, a track from her first album Crybaby. EVIL feels like the wiser older sister to Soap. She has gone from wishing she hadn’t said anything in her toxic relationship in soap –now I gotta wash my mouth out with soap– to using her words, having confidence and a lack of fear in what she’s saying –hope you slip on soap.A beautiful way to emphasise her growth, while giving a gentle nod to the fans who have been there from day one.

Featured Image Credit: @Littlebodybigheart / Instagram

Melanie Martinez PORTALS album review – a psychedelic trip to a new dimension. (1)

Emma Victoria Jenky

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English and Journalism Student. I like to write about funky music and the fact I have no hair.

(Video) Melanie Martinez - Carousel (Official Music Video)

(Video) Tag, You're It/Milk and Cookies Double Feature



What is the meaning behind the portal songs Melanie Martinez? ›

“PORTALS” takes the listener through Martinez's journey of struggle, growth and self-discovery, from the death of her old self to the birth of her current self. The album's name suggests a significant change from one life to the next. “PORTALS” begins with “DEATH,” a song dedicated to the dissolution of a past self.

Is Melanie Martinez making a PORTALS movie? ›

PORTALS (expected title) is the upcoming second theatrical full-length film by Melanie Martinez that will be attached to her third studio album, PORTALS. It is expected to release sometime in early-to-mid 2024. Melanie has given a small amount of information related to the future release.

What will Melanie Martinez new album be called? ›

Portals is the third studio album by American singer-songwriter Melanie Martinez. It was released on March 31, 2023, through Atlantic Records.

What album is Melanie Martinez on? ›

What does Melanie Martinez tattoo mean? ›

Bunny Head

Melanie shared the story behind the tattoo with Fuse, stating, "It was actually my first pet ever. And then I got a dog and my parents told me I couldn't have a bunny and a dog, so we all decided to give the bunny away to a friend of a friend who already had a bunny.

What is the music from the end of portal? ›

"Still Alive" is a song featured in the closing credits of the 2007 video game Portal. It was composed and arranged by Jonathan Coulton and was performed by Ellen McLain, who voiced the Portal antagonist and subject of the song, GLaDOS.

Is Portal a horror movie? ›

Critic Reviews for Portals

While the concept suggests mind-bending alternate-reality stuff, the not terribly cerebral reality of the movie offers more in the line of eyeball-gouging, blood-spurting, face-melting shock horror.

What are the PORTALS in the movie PORTALS? ›

Its immediate effects are worldwide blackouts, and the appearance worldwide of cosmic portals—miniature black holes, perhaps—that use varying methods of persuasion to invite human beings inside. The portals themselves look like shrunken iterations of the monolith in “2001,” with some geometric adjustments.

Will there be a Portal 2 movie? ›

Abrams' Portal Movie On Its 2023-2024 Slate. This comes while production company Warner Bros Discovery itself is still in flux due to new changes mandated by its CEO.

Will Melanie Martinez have a concert in 2023? ›

Melanie Martinez Announces 2023 North American “Portals Tour” At Michigan Lottery Amphitheatre Saturday, July 8. (DETROIT – April 3, 2023) – Off the heels of the release of her latest album, Portals, Melanie Martinez today announced a 29-city tour of the same name.

What is Melanie Martinez most successful album? ›

The best-selling album by MELANIE MARTINEZ is CRY BABY, which sold over 2,250,000 copies .

Is Cry Baby being reborn? ›

Being an empath, Cry Baby doesn't die, but rather reincarnates. Physically, her bodies waste away with time, but her soul stays intact, aside from its memories of her previous life.

What does EP mean in music? ›

EP stands for 'Extended Play,' meaning that an EP is longer than a single but shorter than an album. They typically feature between 2-5 songs and are under 30 minutes in length.

Is Melanie Martinez emo? ›

If you haven't heard of Melanie Martinez you have seriously been missing out on some iconic emo pop. To catch you up on her haunting jams, here are eight of our favorite Melanie Martinez lyrics that will get your angst flowing.

Did Melanie Martinez give birth? ›

Does Melanie Martinez actually dye her hair? ›

Melanie's hair is naturally brown. Soon before she auditioned for The Voice, she dyed half of her hair blonde and the other part black. Melanie constantly changes the color of the blonde side, while the black side remains always the same.

What tattoo does Ariana have on the back of her neck? ›

Ariana Grande's "Mille Tendresse" Neck Tattoo

The ink on the back of her neck reads "Mille Tendresse," which means "a thousand tendernesses." It was reportedly inspired by a phrase from the movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's."

What does Ariana Grande's finger tattoo say? ›

The character 七 means "seven," and 輪 can mean "ring" (or "hoop," "circle," etc). But combining the two doesn't mean "7 Rings," it means a whole different word entirely. As several people pointed out in the replies to Grande's now-deleted tweet, her tattoo actually spells "shichirin," which is a small charcoal grill.

What was Portal based on? ›

Portal began with the 2005 freeware game Narbacular Drop, developed by students of the DigiPen Institute of Technology.

What do the radios say in Portal? ›

The numbers are written on a blackboard with a chalk. Only Morse code. Translates as "BEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEEP BEEP BEEP", in turn translating as "LOL". Contains the alphanumerics "9459".

How many Portal 2 endings are there? ›

Plus, cross-platform user-generated levels. Portal 2 will offer two different endings, one for single play and one for co-op play, developer Valve has confirmed. Speaking to Videogamer, the title's writer Chet Falliszek promised, "Both sets of credits [will feature something special], because we've got two credits."

What is the scariest movie to exist? ›

  • The Exorcist. Released: 1973. Rated: R. Director: William Friedkin. There's a reason this horror classic is one of the scariest movies of all time. ...
  • The Shining. Released: 1980. Rated: R. Director: Stanley Kubrick. ...
  • Hereditary. Released: 2018. Rated: R. Director: Ari Aster.
May 23, 2023

Is Portal supposed to be creepy? ›

The first game is intended to have a lonely and “creepy” feel to it. It has an ominous soundtrack that could either intensely disturb someone or not be heard due to being quiet. Let's explain things from a blind play-through point of view.

Is Portal kid friendly? ›

Hard Puzzles, No gore, Younger Ages Might Not Understand What The Main Antagonist Is Saying, Might Get Motion Sick.

What is the movie Portals about? ›

What are the seven portals? ›

Seven Portals is the first hub map in Hexen. It connects to all other levels on the Hub except for the prologue. It is closely intertwined with the puzzles on other maps, so you will make many visits. The seven doors once guarded Hexen from outside invasion.

What colors are the portals in portal? ›

In Portal 2's co-op campaign, each robot test subject possesses individual portal colors in order to differentiate them; Atlas creates cyan (primary) and indigo (secondary) portals, whereas P-body creates yellow (primary) and red (secondary) portals.

Who is the real villain of Portal 2? ›

The Intelligence Dampening Sphere, better known as Wheatley, is the deuteragonist turned main antagonist for the second half of the 2011 video game Portal 2. He is an Intelligence Dampening Sphere, and as a result, was designed to be as dumb as possible as a way of getting GLaDOS to behave.

Is Portal a prequel to Half-Life? ›

The Portal series, which takes place in the same universe as the Half-Life games, is a series of puzzle games developed by Valve. The first game in the series, Portal, was initially released alongside Episode Two in The Orange Box on October 10, 2007.

Why is Portal 2 so highly rated? ›

Portal 2 is one of the most famous puzzle games of all time. One of the reasons it's so well-known is because it was developed by Valve. But mostly, its fame comes from the fact it's critically acclaimed. And it's easy to see why it's beloved by both critics and fans, as the game is incredibly enjoyable to play.

Can a 10 year old go to a Melanie Martinez concert? ›

Melanie Martinez and Tanukichan

Important Event Info: This is an all ages event, however, our CLUB level balcony section is 21+ for th... This is an all ages event, however, our CLUB level balcony section is 21+ for this event. You must be 21+ to purchase and redeem the CLUB section tickets.

Will Melanie Martinez tour 2024? ›

Melanie Martinez is not due to play near your location currently - but they are scheduled to play 32 concerts across 2 countries in 2023-2024. View all concerts.

How old do you have to be to go to a concert? ›

Even if an adult is attending, some events won't let anyone under 18 attend. Please note that for events that do allow children, they must have an adult aged 18 years or over with them at all times. Was this article helpful?

What is Melanie Martinez most streamed song? ›


How old was Melanie Martinez on The Voice? ›

Martinez auditioned for The Voice Season 3 when she was just 16 years old.

Is Cry Baby inappropriate? ›

There is one use of "f--k" and some other mild profanity. Although the film's parodying of 1950s "juvenile delinquent" movies, societal conformity, and sexual repression will be lost on younger viewers, for older kids and parents Cry-Baby is an enjoyable and hilarious introduction to John Waters' movies.

How old was Cry Baby when she died? ›

She was 60. Her husband, Gene Piotrowsky, confirmed his wife's death Thursday to The Associated Press. Piotrowsky said she died Wednesday at a Naples, Florida, hospital of complications from pneumonia.

What is Cry Baby a parody of? ›

"Cry-Baby" is basically "Grease" without Divine inspiration, an agitated spoof of the leather-jacket genre from Baltimore's tacky John Waters.

Can an EP have 7 songs? ›

EP's must meet one of the following two requirements: The release has a total of one to three (1-3) tracks, one or more of the tracks is/are 10 minutes or longer and the entire release is less than 30 minutes.

Is 10 songs enough for an album? ›

An album is considered to be 6 or more songs running over 30 minutes in length and is considered to be one product.

Is 6 songs too many for an EP? ›

In order for a release to be considered an EP, it must meet one of the following two requirements: The release has a total of 1-3 tracks, one or more of the tracks is 10 minutes or longer, and the entire release is less than 30 minutes. The release has a total of 4-6 tracks and the entire release is less than 30 ...

What is Melanie Martinez type? ›

Melanie Martinez is an INFP personality type. She has unique personality characteristics and is often misunderstood by those around her. Open-minded and non-judgmental, Melanie appreciates that different paths of life work for different personalities. She is naturally empathetic and has a quietly rebellious streak.

What type of goth is Melanie Martinez? ›

Martinez's style is definitely Pastel Goth.

Is MGK an emo artist? ›

Although the 'Emo Girl' singer kicked off his career as a rapper, he's now pivoted towards rock music, collaborating with artists like Travis Barker, Bring Me The Horizon and Willow Smith.

Does Melanie Martinez have baby teeth? ›

Melanie Martinez was born in 1995, which makes her 20. However, unlike the rest of the kids in her age range, she still has two baby teeth. Apparently, they never fell out and she's never bothered to have that checked out in any way.

Does Melanie Martinez have a tattoo? ›

Bunny Head

Melanie shared the story behind the tattoo with Fuse, stating, "It was actually my first pet ever. And then I got a dog and my parents told me I couldn't have a bunny and a dog, so we all decided to give the bunny away to a friend of a friend who already had a bunny.

How old is Billie Eilish? ›

What is the story behind Melanie Martinez K 12? ›

The album is set in Cry Baby's school and is told from her perspective. According to Melanie, it is Cry Baby stepping outside of her family and love life and acting as a narrator for the album.

Who wrote the Portal songs? ›

Who made the Portal songs? ›

Release. The Portal Soundtrack contains the music pieces used in Portal; it was composed by Kelly Bailey and Mike Morasky; with the exception of the song Still Alive, composed by Jonathan Coulton.

What happened to Kelly at the end of K-12? ›

But then she sees Brandon talking to Cry Baby which sends her into a fury, she rushes in a beats Cry Baby to a pulp before pulling out a knife and carving into her arm. Cry Baby loses it and uses her telekinesis to strangle Kelly.

What does the end of K-12 mean? ›

The K-12 Film. At the end of the movie, we see Crybaby's character conflicted about whether she wanted to stay in the human world or not. However, many fans think that the fact she hesitated before entering her true “alien” world, means that she chose to stay.

Who plays Lilith in K-12? ›

K-12 (2019) - Kimesha Campbell as Lilith - IMDb.

What music genre is Portal? ›

Portal is an Australian extreme metal band whose style is an unorthodox fusion of death metal, black metal, dark ambient and experimental music.

Who is the female voice in Portal? ›

Ellen McLain (born 1952/1953) is an American voice actress. She is best known for providing the voice of GLaDOS, the primary antagonist of the Portal video game series, the Combine Overwatch AI in Half-Life 2, and the Administrator, the announcer in Team Fortress 2.

Who is the robot in Portal 1? ›

GLaDOS (Genetic Lifeform and Disk Operating System) is a fictional character from the video game series Portal. The character was created by Erik Wolpaw and Kim Swift and voiced by Ellen McLain.

How old is the girl from Portal? ›

The handwriting and content of the experiment seem to indicate that Chell was of grade school age during the Science fair, which probably took place in the early 90's. This would indicate that Chell was most likely born sometime in the 1980s, and was probably in her 20's during the events of the first Portal.

Is Portal a sequel to Half Life? ›

The Portal series, which takes place in the same universe as the Half-Life games, is a series of puzzle games developed by Valve. The first game in the series, Portal, was initially released alongside Episode Two in The Orange Box on October 10, 2007.

What is the girl's name in Portal 2? ›

Chell is the silent protagonist in the Portal video game series developed by Valve. She appears in both Portal and Portal 2 as the main player character and as a supporting character in some other video games.


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