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CD Reviews: Marina V
Marina V: Simple Magic
May 2005
By: Lauren Jonik
album cover of Marina V's Simple Magic

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.