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Regina Spektor Goes Far

October 26, 2009

I have a soft spot for Regina Spektor. She was the first cool artist I discovered all by myself, without the aid of a hip music magazine or cooler friend. I loved how I’d never heard anything like her. She had a haunting voice and unique songs that made me feel something. I loved how simple they were, that alongside all the manufactured pop here she was with her piano, her voice and sticks to bang out percussion. “Samson,” “Braille,” and “Somedays” would probably make it to the list of my all time favorite songs, if I were to ever attempt to make one. But it was difficult to like her, sometimes, because her music required such an effort. It demanded that you sit, be quiet, and listen. This worked well when I was feeling particularly angsty, and just wanted to lie on my bed, stare at the ceiling and listen to someone who maybe, just maybe, understood me. But even then I occassionally had other shit to do and slowly she faded into the background.
Regina Spektor was also the first cool artist where I discovered the contradicting feelings upon her becoming mainstream. When I heard she was coming out with her new CD, Begin To Hope, I was excited to hear what she’d be coming up with next, but shocked to hear that I wasn’t the only one anxiously awaiting. She was in magazines, on TV. I wanted to be happy for her, but, but, but, she wasmine. When I heard the first single, “Fidelity,” I felt betrayed. I could hear her in there somewhere, but it was straying too dangerously close to that manufactured pop I had turned to her to avoid. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved the CD, especially when no one else was around, because it was undeniably irresistably catchy. But I couldn’t help but miss the old Regina.

Now, with her latest album, Far, I think she managed to balance the new with the old perfectly. I recognize her old school quirkyness, her storytelling lyrics, her folkloric vocal gymnastics, but with a bit more musicality than 11:11 or Soviet Kitsch. I can see myself turning to listen to this CD, instead of occasionally giving a song a chance when it comes up on shuffle. Most importantly, it’s sparked my love of Regina again (as I write I’m looking up some old favorites to listen to).

Here’s the first single, “Laughing With”

I also really loved “Eet,” and the video involves a vintage typewriter, so you know it’s good:

Another favorite was “Folding Chair.” Here’s an unofficial YouTube video for it:

Welcome back, Ms. Spektor, and thank you.

Originally written June 16, 2009

One Comment leave one →
  1. December 29, 2009 12:02 am

    i just wanted to say that i agree with you about samson, somedays and braille. they’re all heartbreakingly and beautiful. here’s a gift (if you haven’t seen it):

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