How The Beatles Inspired Melanie Martinez’s ‘Cry Baby’
In her album Cry Baby, Melanie Martinez explored the dark side of childhood. During an interview, Martinez explained how listening to The Beatles‘ songs as a youth influenced her music. She also revealed how the Fab Four impacted her taste in music.
Why childhood is a theme in Melanie Martinez’s ‘Cry Baby’
During a 2015 interview with Nylon, Martinez discussed why childhood has been a major influence on her music. “I’ve been really drawn to vintage children’s items like toys from the ’50s and Russian teddy bears,” Martinez said. “I’ve clung to that as something I’m interested in collecting — pastel colors, that whole Japanese ‘Lolita’ theme.” Martinez referred to Lolita fashion, a Japanese style of dress named after Vladimir Nabokov’s controversial novel Lolita.
Martinez said the childhood theme in Cry Baby helped make her songs less obvious. “People usually write songs about how they feel and it’s blatantly clear, like: ‘He broke up with me,’ and the song that spawns is called ‘Heartbroken,'” Martinez said. “I always thought it was way more fun to say that in a completely different way. I have a song called ‘Training Wheels’ and it’s about being in love with someone and taking it to the next level by taking off the training wheels.”
How The Beatles’ songs impacted Melanie Martinez’s taste in music
In HuffPost, Martinez said she wasn’t consciously thinking of any artist in particular when she wrote her album Cry Baby. Despite this, she feels a band she listened to as a youth inspired the album. “When I was younger, I was raised on a lot of hip-hop, The Beatles,” she recalled. “I think that’s definitely made a big influence on my music. It’s very lyrical and it definitely has some crazy drum production.”
During an interview with Glamour, Martinez further elaborated on the way The Beatles influenced her. She said the band imbued her with a love of “wordy” songs. In addition, The Beatles inspired her to tell stories through her songs.
The way the world reacted to ‘Cry Baby’
Cry Baby became a big hit. The album reached No. 6 on the Billboard 200 and stayed on the chart for 143 weeks. None of Martinez’s other albums lasted as long on the chart. One of the songs from Cry Baby, “Play Date,” became a huge hit on Billboard’s Alternative Streaming Songs chart. “Play Date” peaked at No. 6 and remained on the chart for eight weeks.
Cry Baby was popular in the United Kingdom as well, albeit less so. According to The Official Charts Company, the album hit No. 32 in the U.K. and stayed on the chart for 27 weeks. Meanwhile, “Play Date” hit No. 78 there and remained on the chart for four weeks. Cry Baby became a hit — and it might not be the same without The Beatles.