Far

Studio Album by released in 2009

Far review

Regina Spektor, the embodiment of musicality, feminity and inventiveness

It is really pleasant to realize that in times when the whole world is concerned about the complicated economic situtation the true music creators continue to search for the new and better sounding taking new fantastic images out of their imagination and making them co-exist in stories. Basically they never care too much what is going on in the economics because one thing more intersting and important for these artists is to fulfill the new ideas, realize all the potential of inspiration they have so as to wait for it to come again and find them in even better form. Such is the performer Regina Spektor, the embodiment of musicality, feminity and inventiveness. After the release of her fourth creation, 2006’s Begin To Hope it became clear what a many-faceted and brave artist she is: refusing decisively to accept any stylistic borders she writes little music masterpieces each of which is valuable both in its form and content. This year Spektor’s fifth album called Far is released and it is the concentration of all the previous works’ best qualities adding its own inimitable merits to them. Regina’s fans are sure not to be disappointed for this time she has once again managed to express herself fully as much as it is possible within the frames of a music album.

A simultaneously varied and uniquely harmonious album Far

Besides Regina Spektor herself four different producers have co-worked on the album – Jeff Lynne, Garret "Jacknife" Lee, Mike Elizondo and David Kahne with whom she also recorded Begin To Hope. Perhaps it is due to the constellation’s different characteristics that Far has proved to be simultaneously varied and uniquely harmonious. It opens with a most interesting composition The Calculation not devoid of a bitterish irony, while the strangest and at the same time wonderfully sincere song here is Eet with the most memorable chorus you have ever heard. An unexpected metaphore used to describe a long-term and firm relationship on Folding Chair is not the only thing that makes it interesting. In her search of non-standard sounds Regina has gone rather far: she inserts dolphins’ talking here. Probably the heaviest number on the record is Machine creating quite an oppressing mood, while the single Laughingn With does not only please with a splendid chello but is also an example of how it is possible to express one’s attitude to the reality, to the world, to God using just several phrases. The song Human Of The Year also conquers with a beautiful instrumental background and a catchy pop-melody whereas no less vivid tracks Two Birds and Dance Anthem Of The 80's are remarkable for quite witty lyrics. An utterly unimaginable story in which the invented is mixed with day-to-day life is told on the composition Wallet, and amazingly stylish tracks One More Time With Feeling, another example of witfulness, and Man Of A Thousand Faces pleasing with a wise text and rich arrangement close the record.

A mature, qualified and clever work

Comparing this work with the previous ones we can say that this time we hear a much softer and calmer Regina Spektor here as she seems to suggest that we take a rest and reflect on our lives just a little bit. You will find practically no heavy many-layered arrangements on the new album like those that present on Begin To Hope and 2004’s recording Soviet Kitsch even though not prevailing there. Yet with all that the singer is generous with her unusual stories told both with the help of two or three hints and in all peculiar details. On the whole Far is in itself a very mature, qualified and clever work once again confirming Regina Spektor’s talent. Besides the work of four producers cannot but bring its fruit – the singer’s vocals combine harmoniously with the orchestra arrangements though these tracks will undoubtedly sound no less impressive when performed live. Perhaps somebody was expecting more heavy and tough tunes from Spektor but she has obviously decided to display exclusively her female qualities on Far, such as softness and vulnerability, so it is rather possible that her next creation will fill all the gaps if ther are any here at all.