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Old 06-22-2009, 01:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Regina Spektor - Far

Her new album is finally here. Please note that I am quite a big fan of Regina, so I may be somewhat biased in my rating. I'll try to be impartial.

The album deals alot with religion, and people's interpretations of it. Whilst retaining her quirky routes, it is comparitively layered to her comparitively simpler early roots. It balances better in this respect than her previous album, Begin To Hope, in this way.

Anyways, track-by-track!

The Calculation: 3/5
A cute and plodding little introduction in typical Regina suit. The lyrics tell of the evolution of humans, and are simple but effective. The chorus picks the whole thing up very well. A good all-round song, not sure if it entirely suits as an opener.

Eet: 5/5
One of the best songs on the album. This track is considerably down-tempo, but it picks up towards the end. It compares a failed relationship to the forgetting of the lyrics to your favourite song. The chorus is catchy, and endearingly sweet. Her vocals are also very, very good here. Wonderful song.

Blue Lips: 5/5
Possibly the best and most understated song on the album, this continues in the fashion of down-tempo, and whereas it does pick up somewhat, it still remains a very meek and subtle song. The chorus gets longer after each verse, and is delivered with a hint of melancholy.

Folding Chair: 3/5
Somewhat similar to The Calculation, with a bit of Eet in the chorus. I like this song, it seems to pale in comparison to most of the songs here though, however it comes immediately after two very good songs. She does a very cute impression of a seal, or a dolphin, in this track.

Machine: 3/5
Starts off interestingly, delivered almost robotically (Fittingly enough). The chorus sees this song take a somewhat sinister song. A cute little song, better than Folding Chair, but feels a bit repetitive.

Laughing With: 5/5
The lead single. Melancholy, with some beautiful imagery delivered in a startlingly sarcastic and deadpan tone. The chorus is a mouthful, delivering humour and also food for thought. Excellent song.

Human Of The Year: 5/5
Starting quietly, then abruptly building up for the chorus, then plonking down meekly for the verses. Sweet enough, and then takes a very different turn in the middle, leading to an emotional break, then the final chorus, and plonking into the end of the track. Strange narrative, but a very good song.

Two Birds: 3/5
A very good song that's a bit too cute for its own good. It is somewhat repetitive, but somehow remains to carry you through. It's better than it should be.

Dance Anthem Of The 80s: 3/5
A very fast and quirky song, I like it. There's nothing technically bad about this song, it just doesn't seek to be anything more than it is, which is fine. Regina bounces vocally on this track, up and down. Pure fun.

Genius Next Door: 5/5
Very, very melancholy, telling a strange story indeed. There is very much a sense of the fact that Regina is telling you a story and taking you along. I loved it.

Wallet: 4/5
The cutest song on the album. Very much Regina's quirky style, short, sweet, to the point, and ending abruptly. Very nice, despite the (somewhat) lack of a proper chorus.

One More Time With Feeling: 3.5/5
Starts off looking to be melancholy, and very good, but takes an upbeat turn. Fair enough, but it somewhat detracts from what you expressed. It's an optimistic song.

Man Of A Thousand Faces: 5/5
It feels as though it should be more melancholy or uplifting than it is, it remains on one par. It's a very good song, a strange note to end the album on though. The piano is simply exquisite.

(Bonus Tracks)

Time Is All Around: 3/5
The Sword & The Pen (A cover song): 3/5

Overall: 4/5
A very good album, probably Regina's best in the way of pulling herself together. It would appear understated, some say over-produced, but in the end, it's still very much Regina Spektor. It would probably come across to me as her defining album, but also her most... "functional" album. If someone had never heard Regina before, they should start here. The album sometimes feels (albeit with very good songs) that it was made for the sake of being made. Still, I love it very much, despite some obvious drawbacks.
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Old 06-22-2009, 02:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Good review. I just got the album, I'll listen to it in the next couple of days and post back in here. I love Regina Spektor and I think you're probably spot on with a lot of your opinions.
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Old 06-22-2009, 03:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I really liked Soviet Kitsch, this one's definitely on my buy list.
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Old 06-22-2009, 06:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I really wanna get my hands on this album, 'cause I loved her first two.
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Old 06-23-2009, 08:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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I'll give it a go at some point too, Soviet Kitsch is brilliant but i can't stand Begin To Hope at all apart from a few tracks. Songs is a little bit too kooky as well.
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Old 06-24-2009, 07:03 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Okay so I listened to it. At first I was a bit unsure because it sounded quite poppy and distant from her rawer, earlier stuff. But I loved Eet, Laughing With, and Human of the Year. I must admit I do love her earlier stuff better, it was somehow more raw and real. But this album has thankfully still kept her quirkiness that I love and I do enjoy it lots.
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Old 06-24-2009, 08:29 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Begin to Hope is such a great album, I doubt this can top it. I'll try it out anyway though.
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Old 06-26-2009, 10:31 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Love her w\ Ben Folds
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Old 06-28-2009, 05:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Far isn't quite what I expected. It's somewhat repetitive in comparison to her earlier albums. It certainly not bad, though. Just not as experimental.
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Old 09-05-2009, 01:40 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Far would be my favourite album of the year so far (pun not intended). I'll admit the album as a whole sounds a bit more pop than her previous albums, but each track was truly brilliant. Except for Wallet, I just couldn't listen to it at all TBH. Just a touch too quirky for my tastes. =)
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