Monday, June 29, 2009

Assessment! Regina Spektor's "Far"

(Sire Records)
June 22, 2009

In the past, Regina Spektor has displayed a knack for crafting off-kilter tunes that are melodic and intricate.  This latest album is no different. The first tracks, "The Calculation" and "Eet," are excellent examples of Spektor's ability to travel up and down vocal scales with mastery. "Blue Lips" starts off with just Spektor's voice, but as the song continues piano and other instruments join in.  "Laughing With" seems like a play on Joan Osborne's "One of Us."  

Like with every Spektor record, some songs do not work as well as others. "Dance Anthem of the 80s" contains a overpowering piano melody and her voice is definitely on display for all to listen to.  The breakdown appears to be heavily influenced by the music of Spektor's Russian roots. Its unique but doesn't present itself as an everlasting track.   "Machine," a rough-and-tough song about, I think, post-apocalyptic life and living with full reliance on technology, exists somewhere off the scale of normalcy but could be a grower in some cases.  
"One More Time With Feeling" is one of the more standout tracks of the album.  It sounds joyful but is actually a depressing and easily relatable tale of "playing parts" and going through the motions.  "Genius Next Door" is a definite example of her background in classical music while "Folding Chair" operates as an alluring ode to companionship.   

Overall this album operates in line with her other releases. It is as accessible as 2006's "Begin to Hope" and contains quite a few glorious pop songs along with some stranger tracks that convey Spektor's off-beat and charming personality. Her voice is as potent as ever.  This album is an essential for those who are already a fan of her work as well as those who crave unique piano melodies coupled with even more unique lyrical composition. 

  • Mp3s: "One More Time with Feeling"  and "Folding Chair" 
  • For more information about Regina Spektor, check out her myspace and official website

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