Monday, 15 June 2009

Review: Regina Spektor - Far

The Queen of anti-folk is back with a classy piano-driven elaborate album named just "Far", which is her fifth studio album and the along awaited continuation of her critically acclaimed record "Begin to Hope". With the soft touch of piano music and the distinctive sharpness of her voice Spektor demonstrates a talent, which is yet to reach its highest.

"Far" is a manifestation of Regina's desire to concentrate more on the validity of social values and on the impact of worldwide issues on the individual themselves and the changing prospects of success and failure. Despite not being as edgy or emotionally diverse as her previous album Spektor goes up the spiral with less commercial material, which may be seen as a step aside from her work up to now. I personally, cannot categorize "Far" as anti-folk due to the lack of the style's typical elements and it has more to do with the newest wave of the indie alt music movement that has taken the States overnight.

Regina Spektor has always been devoted to acoustic music and "Far" is no exception to the rule. Even more, it is an acoustic galore with plenty of tracks freed by any other instrument interference or technical tampering. The talented singer further explores the abilities of her vocal abilities, although if you are not very used to her singing style you might find it kind of annoying. This, of course, should be no obstacle to embracing "Far" to its fullest and spending some quality piano time.

Despite all the praise I should say that this album got just a little bit on my nerves with over the top yelling at certain points, repetitive piano parts and rather disappointing of the lyrical content of some of the songs. The emotional charge is quite chaotic and reaches extremes, which just don't fit in the same album tracklist. Regina knows piano music best, but maybe she should break the ice a little and give experimenting more field in her records. Her top competition Tori Amos may have released quite a disappointing album, but at least she did try a lot of things. As for Spektor, obviously she plays safe, keeping in a tight grasp her piano music. But for how long?

Songs to hear: "Man of a Thousand Faces", "Genius Next Door", "Laughing With", "Human of the Year" and "Dance Anthem of the 80s"

Personal rating: 7/10