Guest Author - Elisha Purser
With the release of her fifth and latest studio album, Far, on June 23rd of this year, Regina Spektor, having written all the songs on the album by herself as well as playing the piano throughout the album, is still the Anti-Folk Scene Queen. The album’s first single “Laughing With” was pre-released for digital download through Regina’s myspace page a month before the album was available, along with the B-side “Blue Lips” and a couple other videos.
It was torture waiting for the release of the new album after having already taken advantage of the digital downloads and watching videos of the upcoming album online, but the teases were well worth it. Being a long-time fan of Regina I diligently waited and, like the good consumer I am, went out and purchased my copy of the album the day of it’s release. For the next three days I listened to and absorbed every nuance, hook and note of every song, while taking in the melodies as well as memorizing and analyzing the lyrics. The album is full of hits, however, the songs “Genius Next Door,” “Eet” and “Laughing With” became instant favorites.
Regina has an enigmatic way of mixing pop and classical music while hitting notes that could make one cry. She can sing something so simple, and yet make it the most powerful line in the song. For instance, in the song “Genius Next Door” she sings the lyrics “…to strip his clothes off by the dumpster…” in a way that can send chills through your bones. It’s a melodic, lyrically driven song that is reminiscent of some of her earlier songs such as “Lady Sings The Blues” and “Us.”
“Eet,” is another powerful piece with lyrics that ring true for any music lover trying to get through the ups and downs of life, “…you’re using your headphones just to drown out your mind…” The first time I really heard and felt that line in the song I was having a pretty bad day and literally put my headphones on, with Regina’s beautiful voice streaming out, to drown out my mind. It worked. The songs on this album have an amazing balance of pop, piano, quirkiness and lyrical realism that make it an instant classic, while seeming effortless and easily relatable.
No matter what my mood: happy, sad, sick, stressed - I can put Regina on my iPod, hit random and listen for hours. As each song plays, my heart grows lighter and lighter until I feel like I am floating. That’s how good Regina is.