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Destined for greatness

Live at SoundMoves
Live at SoundMoves
By Marina V

Self-released: 2006

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This review first appeared in Turbula in January 2007.

L.A.-based Marina V makes a big point of marketing herself as a Russian-born singer-songwriter. While it's understandable that an unknown musician will use every possible angle to gain attention, the strength of the songs and the virtuosic singing she displays on her latest album ought to provide her the kind of rep that lets her move beyond the gimmickry of touting her birthplace.

Like a more accessible, pop-oriented Kate Bush, Marina writes lush, luxuriant pop songs that have more hooks than a strip of Velcro. Leading her band from the piano, Marina's compositions have the feel of tunes so strong they could stand on their own in a solo environment. But with a full band behind her on this recording (before a live audience), her songs take on a sheen that is enough to transfix the listener. (Special note must be made of fellow L.A. singer-songwriter Shannon Hurley, whose harmony vocals rival Marina's own voice.)

Still, the main ingredient in all this musical goodness is Marina's voice. It is near crystalline in its tonal purity, somewhere between that of Bush and Judy Collins. As with those singers, though, it isn't just the physical beauty of the voice that seduces, but how well she uses it. Pliant and epxressive and clearly trained, Marina's singing is one of those miracles of both nature and nurture. The Beatles' "Here, There & Everywhere" is a perfect showcase for her voice, and she turns in one of the all-too-rare Beatles covers that can rival the original.

Great songs, one of the most beautiful voices on the planet, looks to rival most Hollywood starlets – Marina V seems destined for fame and fortune. Get in on the ground floor.