Saturday, 27 June 2009

Review: Far (Regina Spektor)

#43: Hello ... Hello my old friends ... it's great to see you once again! I've now played my copy of the new Regina Spektor album "Far" a couple of times now. Although I suspect that its chart impact is going to be severely dented in that the record-buying public are buying out the Michael Jackson back catalogue. "Far" by Regina Spektor is one of those releases that grow on you. I have to say I quite like it. Of the fifteen [15] tracks on the CD, five [5] are produced by Jeff Lynne. But this record is "Far" from being a "Full Moon Fever", a "Mystery Girl" or a "Cloud Nine".

Of course, the Jeff Lynne produced tracks are self-evident. And they sound great. This Russian Jewess has put out out a quirky album and it reminds me of Kate BushTori Amos and Suzanne Vega all rolled into one! The odd thing about "Far" is that the two songs that I have latched onto and really like are "Laughing With" and "Human Of The Year" - and neither are produced by Jeff Lynne! Here are some lyrical excerpts from those songs:

"Laughing With"
"No one laughs at God in a hospital
No one laughs at God in a war
No one’s laughing at God
When they’re starving or freezing or so very poor
No one laughs at God
When the doctor calls after some routine tests
No one’s laughing at God
When it’s gotten real late
And their kid’s not back from the party yet
No one laughs at God
When their airplane start to uncontrollably shake
No one’s laughing at God
When they see the one they love, hand in hand with someone else
And they hope that they’re mistaken
No one laughs at God
When the cops knock on their door
And they say we got some bad news, sir
No one’s laughing at God
When there’s a famine or fire or flood"

"Human Of The Year"
"Human, human of the year, you are.
Human, human of the year, you are.
Why are you so scared?
You stand there shaking in the pew.
The icons are whispering to you,
they're just old men,like on the benches in the park,
except their balding spots are glistening with gold.
Human, human of the year, you are.
Human, human of the year, you are.
Ahh ah ah.
You have won.
Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah. Hallelujah"

Yours Truly KJS needs to listen to this album a few more times but I think the lyrics and music of Regina Spektor are as good as, if not better, than some of those 'major' mainstream artistes. There is definitely a spiritual nature to some of her songs. Not surprising given that she is Jewish and has such a long heritage and cultural footprint. So, take a chance and listen to something 'different' ... you'll go "Far"! [8/10]

Produced by Jeff Lynne: Far [Regina Spektor]
Regina Spektor @ Glastonbury 2009

Trax: [1] "The Calculation" [3:11] ~ [2] "Eet" [3:52] ~ [3] "Blue Lips" [produced by Jeff Lynne] [3:34]  [4] "Folding Chair" [produced by Jeff Lynne] [3:35] ~ [5] "Machine" [3:55] ~ [6] "Laughing With" [3:17] ~ [7] "Human Of The Year" [4:07] ~ [8] "Two Birds" [3:18] ~ [9] "Dance Anthem Of The 80's" [3:43] ~ [10] "Genius Next Door" [produced by Jeff Lynne] [5:06] ~ [11] "Wallet" [produced by Jeff Lynne] [2:28] ~ [12] "One More Time With Feeling" [3:59] ~ [13] "Man Of A Thousand Faces" [3:11] ~ [14]"Time Is All Around" [3:06][Bonus] ~ [15] "The Sword And The Pen" [produced by Jeff Lynne] [3:48][Bonus]

ELO Beatles Forever [ELOBF] recommends "Far" by Regina Spektor to those enlightened folks who also enjoy the music of ELO, Jeff LynneRoy Wood'Brum Beat'The Idle RaceThe MoveThe Beatles and related artistes.

Until next "Time" in the ELO [and related] Universe ... KJS ... 27-June-2009

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