This is the third studio album from a woman varyingly described as eclectic, eccentric, energetic and enigmatic. Alliterative descriptions aside, this album is one of the most purely enjoyable and listenable CDs I have bought in a long time. Spektor is a classically trained pianist, and as a woman singer songwriter inevitably attracts comparisons with Tori Amos. Its not a bad comparison - but Spektor is a feistier, happier and bouncier musician than her better known comparator.
The music is a combination of gloriously catchy, poppy songs with loopy lyrics and gripping chorus lines, and the more delicate, heart-stirring songs that seem to come directly from and to the soul. That leaves another set of songs which are derived from Spektor's wide and varied imagination, complex, twisting and haunting melodies which weave fairy tales of varying degrees of darkness and intensity.
This is one of the first albums of the year that I have listened to in a state of joy and sheer exuberant pleasure. Each track is enjoyable, and there are more than a handful which are simply great. From the happy, clappable Fidelity to the stirring, childlike delight of Samson and the repeated delights of On The Radio.
Not only does Spektor utilise a range of instruments, notably focusing on her ability on the piano, but her voice is quirky and interesting. At once New York, and then surprising with a Russian accent.
For a CD that has been labelled "anti-folk" this is both off-beat and gloriously listenable. It is the perfect way to enjoy something that is different, surprising, intelligent, daring but that doesn't stray into the mainstream.