Whether Regina Spektor is your cup of tea or not, the fact of the matter is Far could be one of the biggest success stories of the year... at least it should be. And a guy whose music we’ve been following for decades is right in the thick of it.
Her songs are sometimes kitschy, sometimes funny and in a few instances on Far, quite thought provoking. And it’s all done outside the parameters of the traditional “verse/chorus/verse/chorus/solo/chorus/end or fade” song structure.
This is one of those CDs where having the lyrics to follow along helps a lot. What struck me the most, though, is how Jeff’s producing rises and fades and rolls through the emotions with her lyrics more than I think I’ve ever heard him do before. I hoped Regina Spektor’s quirky and Jeff Lynne’s trippy/moody would make for a good match. It did.
Blue Lips – after a month, this is still one of the most spectacular recordings I’ve heard in ages. It just absolutely soars.
Folding Chair – I can directly relate the lyrics of this song to someone I know. That just makes this song 10 times more fun to listen to. That, and the dolphin bark.
Genius Next Door –Just like Jeff Lynne productions that run 3 minutes or less, there’s not a wasted second. Such a haunting mood… and from what I’m reading, a heavy fan favorite.
Wallet – Classic example of how specific her lyrics can be. When it dawns on her that she can take the wallet to the local Blockbuster and the music rises in intensity as she sings it?? I mean, that’s great record making.
The Sword and The Pen- When you peel away the advant garde nature of this track, you’ll actually find a very sensibly composed track just like the others. It's a grower.
Outside of the Jeff Lynne tracks,:
The Calculation –Perfect lead-off track. It makes me dance from room to room with the iPod on. Laughing With – outstanding recording
Human of the Year - that dramatic silence after the huge build up?? Stop your heart staggering.
One More Time With Feeling – still dancing with the iPod on.
Of course, some songs hit you better than others, some may come across too quirky or too cute. But overall, I’m totally gushing over it. All of it. Are Regina Spektor’s songs for everyone?? Of course not. But if any of them do grab you, be forewarned that it’ll probably be a while before it lets go.