Review of Regina Spektor's album Far.
Regina Spektor makes her long awaited return with her first studio album since 2006' Begin to Hope. The Brooklyn raised 'anti-folk' singer song-writer has in the past supported the likes of The Ramones, The Strokes and err Keane.quite a mixed bag I'm sure you would agree, and a mixed bag is exactly what she serves up here, with this her fifth offering to date.
Opener The Calculator is a joyous upbeat effort equipped with Beatles esque drum loops and typically bizarre lyrics about 'computers made of macaroni'. The tempo soon picks up though with Blue Lips, a theatrical jaunt that sees Spektor's vocals stretched to their very best.
Regina Spektor's sound is often described as eccentric, quirky and even strange but rarely is she labelled as 'safe', Folding Chair however falls exactly into that category, its nicey, nicey pianos and irritating Dolphin impressions make you feel like you've just stepped foot into a Cath Kidson shop never to escape. However It's from the albums lowest point that you find yourself immediately transported to its peak, Machine is an edgy and powerful track that injects a much needed energy at the albums halfway point. Its flowing pianos lull you into a false sense of security before jolting you back to reality with its repetitive and haunting chorus 'hooked into machine, hooked into machine' dark stuff indeed and easily Far's stand out track.
There are further dips in quality though, lead single Laughing with is cringe inducing to say the least, lyrics such as 'God can be so hilarious ha-ha' really are no laughing matter at all. All is soon well though in the form of 'Human of the year' which displays a very unconventional structure, showing its colours early by bursting into chorus almost from the start before sliding into a melodic middle that almost brims with passion. Dance Anthem of the 80s is a perfect illustration of Spektors unique choices of subject matter. It's lyrics such as these that feature tales of lust at the 'meat market down the street' that make 'Far' an unpredictable album full of varied melodies and original lyrical content that despite a few hiccups along the way, shows itself to be a triumphant return to work.