Wednesday, 15 July 2009

Album Review: Regina Spektor – Far

Listening to the first track of a new Regina Spektor album is like resuming a conversation with an old friend you’ve not seen in years. Comforting, familiar, and cheering.

Far, Spektor's fifth studio album, is another joyfully rounded release, replete with a myriad of musical short-stories presented in a manner that both moves you and mates you all in the same moment.

Regina’s percussive lyrics, broad vocal range, and elaborate compositions weave together to create a truly unique and full sound, further enhanced by the intimate and delicate production. A plethora of high profile producers including Mike Elizondo (Fiona Apple, Dr Dre) and Jacknife Lee (U2, REM), have clearly had to sacrifice their own styles in order to suit Spektor’s stripped-down purity.

An infusion of Soviet-style classical piano, deft drum beats, and bluesy singing begins to define Spektor’s indefinable style. Thankfully, following her commercially viable 2006 album Begin to Hope, Spektor has not been tempted to tone down her kookiness for her increasing audience figures - even going as far as to poke fun at her new-found popularity in the robotic Machine.

There are many serious and powerful ballads on this album, such as the thought-provoking lead single Laughing With, the epic Human of the Year, and Eet. These are complemented by sparkling pop ditties like Dance Anthem of the ‘80s and The Calculation. However, every track has been carefully constructed to showcase the true vocal and musical imagination of their creator. Spektor’s observations of the minutiae of nature, religion, and the small adventure of finding a wallet are a deliberate stride away from the metropolis-influenced comments of previous albums, an overall theme summed up in the album title.

Overall, Regina’s latest offering delivers. It’s familiar but mature. Kooky with serious undertones. Vocally quirky and musically delicious. Perfect.


Laura Adlington


Jordan said...

A really great review, and I completely agree, the album is a loverly exploration of feeling and sound. Eet is absolutely amazing, as is Blue Lips.

Katie's music blog :) said...

Oo, I LOVE it too!It's such a lovely album!