Building upon the conceptual ideas of her 2014 EP, Dollhouse, Melanie Martinez's 2015 full-length debut, Cry Baby, finds her taking the innocent imagery of youth and family ("Carousel," "Training Wheels," "Milk and Cookies") and subverting them into angular R&B and electro-infused anthems of familial strife, abuse, and romance gone wrong. An arty, self-assured singer with a style that falls somewhere between Beyoncé and Björk, Martinez first came to the public's attention singing Britney Spears' "Toxic" as a contestant on the third season of NBC's The Voice. Perhaps not surprisingly, then, her songs also fit nicely next to the work of contemporaries like Lorde and Lana Del Rey. As with Dollhouse, aiding Martinez on Cry Baby are a handful of hip-hop and pop-steeped producers including Kinetics & One Love (B.o.B, Pitbull, Neon Hitch), SmarterChild (Krewella, Usher, Tori Kelly), and Frequency (Eminem, Royce da 5'9", Slaughterhouse). Featured on Cry Baby are the singles "Sippy Cup," "Soap," and "Pity Party."
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar