Saturday, June 27, 2009

Regina Spektor: Far hits close to home

Regina Spektor's fifth album "Far" hit shelves in the stores and the itunes vault this week. If you liked Begin to Hope, you will enjoy the new record(and by that i mean collection of songs...not that big black circle with grooves). I was a little apprehensive after hearing the producers involved with the project, but this is all Regina, all the way. Her lyrical, melodic style is uniquely hers. Her uncanny ability to cram extra words into phrases but actually make it sound natural ceases to suprise me, all the while camoflauging classical piano training and arpegiated chords as contemporary pop music. The outcome is both beautiful and catchy. Well done.

The first single "Laughing with" seems to have confused some bloggers and reviewers. NO, Joan Osborne is not the only person allowed to write a pop song about God. I think Regina is now the reigning Queen on who can mention God the most in one song, I challenge someone to knock her from that spot (yes i counted and she says it over 30 times). The song is about the human response to Him when in different life changing situations, the chorus pointing out that "God can be funnny" and we're laughing along.

Tracks like "Blue Lips" and "Genius Next Door" play like painted landscapes with brush strokes flowing over semi-traditionalist piano accompaniments. Just lovely. My favorite, however, is "Machine". This song reminds me of why she toured opening for the Dresden Dolls and she could still fit in along side them today. "Machine" is another ballad, but this one with an accelarated drum track, a heavy hitting left hand on the bassline and an occasional feedbacking guitar underlying the chorus of "hooked into machine".

Reading the title "Dance Athem of the 80's" had me a little scared Regina was going to channel Bananarama. But alas, nothing to fear...

The beauty of simplicity in pop music is demonstrated wonderfully on "Eet". This song is a great reminder for any songwriter to forget the rules, throw them out and just feel. I won't bore you with specifics of what not to do's because i've just been pleasantly reminded to ignore them.

Looking forward....if you like Regina, look for the new cd from A Fine Frenzy, a singer songwriter project working on the debut follow up, due out probably by late summer. A little bunny rabbit played me the single and i think ur gonna like it!!!

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