‘Far’ – Regina Spektor.
Sometimes I wish that I could regain the childlike innocence I possessed at the age of 4; besides which, 4 year old Liz was super-dooper cute. A lot has changed since then; the world corrupts and the reality of life filters through your body from head to toe just like blue ink would sink through a glass of water. When I was younger, I used to push Mum and Dad for more responsibility and freedom and I convinced them that I was ready to take on the world, but my young and undeveloped version of self-confidence and reality proved to be just a myth. I was too far in before I realised that I really wasn’t ready, but I hardened myself and willed my way through – never forgetting what it was like when Mum would still hang my washing and make my lunch and I was allowed to run through the sprinkler in undies and a singlet top.
Yesterday was one of those days when everything just got to me, and I needed some cheering up. I trekked it over to a friends house, and whilst I lay on his floor and helped him sort through his uni notes and clean his room, he played the new Regina Spektor album; ‘Far’. I love this album.
There is a ‘4 year-old’ like innocence about it. Regina’s voice is grinningly cute and playful, and her music simple and joyful. It puts your mind into sepia tone. It’s not a ‘busy’ album (there aren’t too many layers of sound), but usually consist of only piano, drums and bass; ‘The Calculation’. *A cute acoustic set.
Her music is teeming with melody. She composes like she is writing a children’s song, but accompanies it with some really interesting lyrics and more advanced effects (both vocal and instrumental); ‘Folding Chair’ or ‘Dance Album of the 80’s’. Her voice is quite soft and her technical range isn’t large, but she uses her voice and what she does posses to its fullest potential. Sometimes when I listen to her sing I can tell that she is smiling; and I love to hear someone enjoying and bouncing to their own music.
She really does have a lot of fun with her voice and her music; pops, whispers, glissando chromatic scales (I have no idea how she does it), slight trills and crazy emphasis’s. She has a cool way of talking / singing at the same time too. Regina Spektor definitely brings out something new with each song.
‘Laughing With’ is my favourite song on this album. This is the ‘different’ song of the album. It deals with a lot of down-to-earth subjects, and talks about God and the way people view God. This song led me to research a little about Regina’s beliefs, and it turns out that she is Jewish; but another song on the album; ‘Human of the Year’ takes things a little further and also leads me to believe that she is a ‘Jew for Jesus’ (– just in case anyone out there is also intrigued). You might be able to tell by now that my favourite songs are ones that are written for a purpose and convey a message; there becomes a deeper level to the music and therefore a deeper level of feeling.
Regina knows her own sound and writes her words parallel to this; if you know this album, then you would know that she’s not partial to political issues or anything too controversial, but that her music is explicitly written to accompany her lyrics, and therefore her music is very easy listening.
I now have a lot of respect for Regina Spektor as an artist. You can tell through listening to her music that she has a lot of fun with it and that she knows her own ability, and uses her ability as best she can. This album is so easy-listening that I am trying not to fall asleep listening to it. In fact, I’m sipping a Strawberry & Mango tea as I’m listening to this album, and I would definitely recommend the combination to you.
Overall, I would give this album FOUR stars. Regina brings something new to every handcrafted song that she produces. She sings little, and small, and tiny, and very cute. You have to give this a listen.