I love this album. OK, I admit it, that isn't the most impartial way to start off a review, but it's the truth. I love everything about it, the interesting, witty lyrics, Regina's gorgeous vocals, the superb songwriting, the way some of the compositions have a powerful emotive message and yet still have the ability to make a smile involuntarily creep across your face. Such is the appeal of "Far", I have literally lost count of the amount of times I have played this album since I've bought it, so not only does this album have an immediate impact on the listener, it has real longevity.
There are so many brilliant songs on this collection, I could quite easily go through each track and would probably run out of superlatives, so I'll just stick to my absolute favourites. The bouncy opener, "The Calculation" is infectious and charming. "Eet" is both delicate and then magnificent, reminding me a little of Ben Folds, as does the excellent "Two Birds". The sinister, near-Orwelian, "Machine" is another stand-out, managing to be both chilling and yet undeniably beautiful. I'm reminded of Alanis Morissette at her most poignant best when I hear "Laughing With", a song wryly commenting about the perversion and misuse of religion whilst managing to stay cleverly neutral. "Dance Anthem Of The 80's" is almost annoyingly catchy but most certainly amusing. "Wallet" is a beautiful song, describing the brief insight into someone's life finding their wallet would give you. In fact, every single track on "Far" has something special to offer to the listener.
It's a testament to the album's four producers that you can't tell that the songs have different people behind the helm - it's a very cohesive album and they all simply seem to bring the best out of Ms. Spektor. Even the great but often-criticised Jeff Lynne, who isn't renowned for his production subtlety, tailors his sound and the instrumentation to enrich and enhance the performance rather than to leave any trademark stamp on it. In fact, even the keenest ears would have trouble picking out which producer was behind which track. That, I believe, is a huge compliment to all involved in this record. What's more, I've managed to get to the end of a review about a Regina Spektor album without using the word "quirky". Until now. Damn.
A wonderful, wonderful album.