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Sunday, January 31, 2010

..and smiles at the moon like he knows her

Regina Spektor has been likened to a Russian Tori Amos, I'm guessing because of her piano-based songwriting, her quirky vocal and lyrical stylings, and of course, they look a bit alike. I can see how people would make the comparison, but there are a couple of things that differentiate the two. First, Tori Amos is usually unintelligible and her lyrics are often difficult to interpret. I'm fairly sure Spektor's native language is Russian, but still she sings with far better enunciation enabling me to either relate to her lyrics or find myself engrossed in the stories they tell. Don't get me wrong, there was a year or two in college where Little Earthquakes was in heavy rotation and I was quite impressed upon seeing her live, even if I was somewhat fearful of her zealots fans.

I bought Begin To Hope a couple of years ago because I liked how strong Spektor's voice sounded during the bridge of Fidelity. I instantly liked a couple of the songs, but skipped most of the ones that were kind of weird and at first seemed auditorily invasive, if you will. As I grew bored with repeatedly listening to the same songs, I began to allow the album to play in its entirety and those peculiar songs grew on me.

I knew Spektor had a new album out, though I didn't put much effort into listening to it. Recently, on the longest flight ever, I decided to give Far a whirl all the way through, thanks to Delta's in flight, in headrest entertainment. Incidentally, I also enjoyed Noble Beast. I'm including eight songs of aural pleasure for you today, not all of which are on Far, nor are all written by Spektor, but all are beautifully performed. I have to respect the talent of someone who sounds as amazing live as she does recorded and produced. I included Laughing With twice because the lyrics put a lump in my throat, even when I'm not premenstrual. I had to go and ruin a beautiful thing with too much information, didn't I? ...but you read on anyway.

Music Playlist at

Laughing With (Far)
Blue Lips (Far)
Machine (Far)
Eet (Far)
Us (500 Days of Summer Soundtrack)
Hallelujah (covered again - Leonard Cohen, Jeff Buckley..)
Laughing With (again, Far)
Real Love (John Lennon cover)


holly wynne said...

That we/I do. I haven't listened to as much Spektor as I should have. "Little Earthquakes," though, I think was in heavy rotation for most of us to greater or lesser degrees. It's just a great album. I regret that Tori seems to have become a kind of parody of herself, at least to my view.

kat said...

I couldn't have said it better myself. In fact, I didn't! She has become a parody of herself. The last cd I bought of hers was Boys for Pele and that was stretching it. I'm a sucker for the harpsichord.

She started out making sense but sort of gradually went off the deep end. Time will tell with miss Spektor.