Album Review: Simple Magic by Marina V

Album Name: Simple Magic
Artist: Marina V
Year/Label: 2005 / Independent

[Buy at Amazon]
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Review by Amy Lotsberg Producer of Collected Sounds

I’ve been aware of Marina V (her last name: Verenikina) for some time now. It seems her name comes up whenever people are talking about Tori Amos or Terami Hirsch and other similar artists. So I know she’s been compared to them, and I guess I can see why, but she’s really not like any of those other artists.

She’s more pop, I guess…to me anyway. It seems like I’d be able to compare Marina V to someone else. And by compare I mean, say ‘she sounds like…’ not ‘she’s got a better voice than…’ But I can’t. I honestly can’t think of another artist that sounds like her, either in voice or in songwriting.

So please don’t go by what you may have heard, judge for yourself. I happen to think she’s fantastic. The got a seductive and beautiful voice. She writes a great alt.pop song and is stunningly gorgeous to boot!

These songs are so ear wormy that you’ll be humming them long after the CD is done playing. They are also very homey feeling. After hearing them even a second time they sound like old friends.

A quick look at reviews on Amazon tells me that I am not alone in adoring this record and this artist. All five stars.

There are a couple of songs that stick out to me (that is, I end up singing them to myself long after I’ve listened to the record. Those are title song, “Simple Magic” and “I’ll Be Alright”. Both great songs.

This is a solid wonderful record by a very talented artist from whom I hope to hear a lot more.

Note: There are two different CD cover arts. Amazon and CDBaby are different.

Posted on February 10, 2007

Review by Lauren Jonik

There are many ways that love rises to the surface in our lives. It can come disguised as questions and as answers, as both comfort and discomfort— often simultaneously. The essential elements that fill in the spaces between the beats of the heart are not the stuff only of fairytales, but of real life in all of its messy, perfect glory. “Simple Magic,” the latest release from Marina V, captures this beautifully.

The driving, introspective “In My Head,” which opens the album, poses a most poignant question and asks to be rescued from the most dangerous of adversaries— ourselves.

“Will you save me tonight
Rescue me from my mind
Would you dive off the deep end after me
Will you save me tonight
Will you stand up and fight
Can you save me from something you can’t see?”

Caught under the spell of love’s mysterious ways and means, the song “Simple Magic” exemplifies the deliciously intoxicating force of being drawn to someone without explanation.

“I’m feeling your simple magic
I’m fighting the curse of your love
And I can’t take it.”

Going a step farther on the journey of the heart, “Underneath Your Sky,” which Marina describes as “her ultimate love song,” tells of the safety and contentment that only love can bring and the awakening in the deepest parts of ourselves that resonates when we meet a kindred spirit.

“When I met you I recognized myself
You opened my mind and made me well
I had wished for you a million times.”

Written and sung in her native Russian tongue, “Pesnya O Tebe,” adds an extra touch of character and elegance to the album. Melancholy in tone, Marina’s rendition is rich and feels as through it reaches not only across the miles, but through generations and all of time. Recorded with producer Jack Douglas, “Killing My Dream” mourns with strength and grace the loss of faith in a lover— and in the dream of love itself. Like a wave that pulls you under a moment before you lose your breath, this kind of heartache causes one to wonder:

“Am I really alone right next to you?
Or am I chasing a ghost of what I once thought was true?”

As on most of the songs on “Simple Magic,” the track “Guardian Angel” was co-written with guitarist Nick Baker. And, while it masterfully serves as the midpoint of the album, its message anchors both the hope we gently place in each other’s hands and the strength we find in our own.

“You could save my life
If I could keep you on the phone
It seems you never tried
I guess in time
We walk this nowhere road alone
Never knowing we could share the ride.”

Posted on July 17, 2005

Track Listing
Listen to track samples
1. In My Head
2. Make This Minute Last
3. Simple Magic
4. I’ll Be Alright
5. Underneath Your Sky
6. Guardian Angel
7. Pesnya O Tebe (in Russian)
8. Ghost Wandering This Earth
9. When I Come Home
10. If I Could Read Your Mind
11. Killing My Dream

[Marina V Official Site]


Rating: 5 Stars
Comment: Thank you for this review. It made me go check out her music and I love it.
name: Lori January 14, 2006

Rating: 5 Stars
Comment: A great review!
name: Debbie on Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Rating: 5 Stars
Comment: What a great review!
name: Tim on Thursday, July 21, 2005


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