By Jacob Winkler
Love+Fear (Acoustic) is an EP album released by Welsh singer-songwriter Marina Diamandis (Know professionally as MARINA, and previously as Marina and the Diamonds) on September 13, 2019. The EP features 5 tracks, all of which are acoustic versions of songs previously released on MARINA’s 4th studio album Love+Fear, which was partially released on April 4, 2019 and entirely on April 26, 2019 (The first 8 tracks of the album, which make up the “Love” aspect of the album, was released before the rest of the album, un-announced).
The album’s track listing includes acoustic versions of “Orange Trees”, “Superstar”, and “Karma” which are 3 of Love+Fear’s 5 singles, as well as acoustic versions of “True” and “No More Suckers”. I really enjoyed Love+Fear, so I had high hopes for this EP, especially since all of the songs selected for the EP are some of my favorites. I must admit, I was not disappointed. So, here is my honest opinion of each song on the album.
Track Number 1- True (Acoustic)
The first track on the EP is “True”. This upbeat and inspirational bop was written by Diamandis, Jonnalis Parmenius, Oscar Holter, and Oscar Gorres (Also known as OzGo). The song talks about being true to yourself and not listening to the standards and expectations society has set. The song has a beautiful message behind it and MARINA’s vocals are stellar. The acoustic version of the song is slightly slower and less-upbeat than the original, but it is still just as beautiful as the original.
Track Number 2- Superstar (Acoustic)
The EP’s second track is the second single from “Love+Fear”, “Superstar”. Written by Diamandis, Benjamin Berger, Ryan McMahon, and Ryan Rabin, “Superstar” is a great song that talks about the singer’s great relationship with her partner, whom she calls her superstar (hence the name of the song). Both the acoustic and the original versions of the song are great, but the acoustic version just has a certain tone to it that I love.
Track Number 3- Karma (Acoustic)
The third track on the album and my favorite song from “Love+Fear”, “Karma” is an amazing song written by Diamandis, Jack Patterson, Berger, McMahon, and Rabin. The opening instrumental part is absolutely stunning. Starting with an airy twinkling sound (which is simply programing), it then stops and is replaced with a guitar, mandolin, or ukulele (I’m not sure which one is used, unless all three are) accompanied with twinkling bells, before transitioning into the first verse. When it comes to the verses, chorus, and backing-instrumental, not a lot has changed. You still have Diamandis’s beautifully haunting background vocals, nice lead vocals, and the guitar/ukulele/mandolin backing. The only thing that seems to have changed it the drum mixing and pop programing has been removed. This adds a certain rawness to the song, that just adds to the hunting quality of the song.
Track Number 4- No More Suckers (Acoustic)
The EP’s fourth track is the next-to-last track on the “Fear” side of “Love+Fear”, “No More Suckers”. Written by Diamandis, Alex Hope, and James Flannigan, the original isn’t exactly the biggest hit on the album (Love+Fear). I personally enjoy the song, but it isn’t the best. Now, as for the acoustic version of the song, it is superior in my opinion. Now, is it the best on the EP? Wel…no. However, in my opinion, it is better than the original. One of the most notable differences between the original and the acoustic is that the chorus has been changed from featuring mostly high notes, to lower notes. In fact, most of the lead vocal section is lower than the original.
This, mixed with the techy-pop programing being replaced with guitar and what sounds like piano adds a more serious tone to the song, which helps to better convey the song’s message about people taking advantage of you all the time and you finally stopping them. Out of all the songs on this EP, I’d have to say this is my favorite.
Track Number 5- Orange Trees (Acoustic)
The fifth and final track on the album is the third single from “Love+Fear”, “Orange Trees”. The song was written by Diamandis, Kaj Hassel, Jakob Jerlstorm, and Gorres. In the acoustic version of this song the guitar (and possibly ukulele) are more pronounced, which adds to the overall tone of the song. The song doesn’t seem any less upbeat than the original, however without the percussion parts and all the pop music programing, it makes the song sound more passionate and slow. This adds a certain beauty to the song, that I personally feel makes the song better than the original.
If I had to rank the songs on the EP, I’d have to say (from my favorite to least favorite):
- No More Suckers
- Orange Trees
Obviously, all 16 of the songs from “Love+Fear” couldn’t become acoustic and make it onto the album. However, there are a few I would have liked to see as acoustics. “Handmade Heaven”, “Too Afraid”, “Soft to Be Strong”, “Emotional Machine”, and “To Be Human” are a few tracks I would have liked to see on the album. I feel like acoustic versions of these songs would have been a great edition to the album.
Of course, you probably want to know what other people think of this album. So, I asked a student to listen to the album and tell me what they thought of it.
I decided to ask senior, Jillian Randolph. When asked about the album, and her opinion on it, told me: “I really enjoy the album; it makes me think of summer. I don’t listen to that genre much, but I absolutely love it.” She also said her favorite song on the album was “Karma (Acoustic)”.
So, there you have it; my, as-well as a few other people’s opinions on Love+Fear: Acoustic by MARINA.