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What We Saw From The Cheap Seats


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Music

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Biography

LIVE IN LONDON, the first live recording and concert film from acclaimed artist Regina Spektor, will be released November 22nd on Sire / Warner Bros Records. Captured mainly at London’s famed Hammersmith Apollo Theatre, LIVE IN LONDON features 23 remarkable performances that span Spektor’s brilliant catalog of music, including three new songs that have only been performed live. ... Read more in Amazon's Regina Spektor Store

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for 12 albums, 11 photos, discussions, and more.

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Product details

  • Audio CD (28 May 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: WARNER BROS
  • ASIN: B007OPH6W4
  • Other Editions: Audio CD  |  Vinyl  |  MP3 Download
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 108,412 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Small Town Moon
2. Oh Marcello
3. Don'T Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas)
4. Firewood
5. Patron Saint
6. How
7. All The Rowboats
8. Ballad Of A Politician
9. Open
10. The Party
11. Jessica

Product Description

CD Description

Regina Spektor's sixth studio album is a collection of new material along with the very first studio recordings of several of Spektor's older live songs. It also features a reworking of "Ne me quitte pas", which the Russian-American pianist first released on her 2002 album, Songs. --This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

BBC Review

The cliché about Regina Spektor is that she's quirky, kind of a kook – the indie Phoebe from Friends. Like most clichés, it's not completely unwarranted: she used her last album to imitate dolphin noises and once wrote a song called Reading Time with Pickle. It features the memorable line: "Ingredients: water, salt, cucumber, garlic and pickling spices."

There's fresh eccentricity on Spektor's sixth album, What We Saw from the Cheap Seats. The Russian-born New Yorker sings much of Oh Marcello in a cod-Italian accent best suited to a pasta sauce advert. On a song called The Party, she compares her paramour to "a big parade through town"… and then imitates a trumpet. Elsewhere, she does her "impression" of the drums. To British ears, the result doesn't sound like beat-boxing; it sounds like EastEnders ending on a cliffhanger.

At times, Spektor can be too cutesy – does she need to refer to New York City's northernmost borough as "the Bronxy Bronx"? More often though, her little idiosyncrasies are charming. Of course, it helps that they nestle with some nifty melodies: Spektor likes a pop chorus almost as much as a vocal tic.

Besides, the quirkiness is really a corollary of Spektor's lack of inhibition – as a performer, yes, but also as a songwriter. On the surface, What We Saw from the Cheap Seats is an album of piano-based pop songs, but thematically, it's more varied. Cryptic confessionals knock shoulders with character sketches, the odd sort-of-love song and even some social commentary.

All the Rowboats takes aim at museums filled with masterpieces, calling them "public mausoleums", while Ballad of a Politician is a crisp vignette about a networker. Thankfully, neither of these tracks contains that reference to "the Bronxy Bronx".

Spektor is also capable of being very affecting. The album's centrepiece is a break-up ballad called How that already sounds like a classic. At the song's climax, Spektor needs just six words to capture all the stinging sadness of losing a lover's intimacy: "You are a guest here now."

Really, the truth about Regina Spektor is that quirky isn't the half of it.

--David Katz

Find more music at the BBC This link will take you off Amazon in a new window

--This text refers to an alternate Audio CD edition.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By prisrob TOP 50 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 18 April 2013
Format: Audio CD
I first noticed Regina Spektor on the Letterman show, and she blew me away.
Her music was infectious, the words so original and descriptive. Her expressions surprising and her delivery superb. And, then I listened to her interview on NPR's 'Fresh Air'and was captivated by her style and originality. I purchased her CD and listened many times.

First of all, Regina's voice is one of the most distinctive out there. She can go from musing and romantic to silly and fun, but never frivolous. Her words and their music are too serious. Regina immigrated from Russian as a small child. She and her parents lived in New York City where she was introduced to music everyday, the Beatles, classic rock, folk songs and classical music. She studied music as a small child and then moved from classical music to her now eclectic style. She is well known for her originality and her style. Many television shows use her music, and now she has become recognized. Regina Skeptor is a classic.

Her latest CD is exciting. My favorite is the song about museums and the paintings wanting to jump off the walls, 'All The Rowboats', with her distinctive vocalizations. Then 'Ballad Of A Politician', with it's superb satire, "shaking, shaking hand; Shake It, Shake It Baby'. The other tunes fall into place and deserve a place of their own.

Regina has a constant discussion with her piano tuners about the loudness and banging that occurs. She wants a smoother, more soothing style, and, she has to let them know this is her style, this is who she is. She is a romantic unusual stylist with a voice that overcomes any singular complaint. She is superb, what more can be said?

Recommended. prisrob 04-18-13
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Dave Gilmour's cat on 10 Jun 2012
Format: Audio CD
Wonderful selection of songs. I think this is more consistent than her previous releases, despite them all having many moments of greatness. This is a really impressive album. Her singing has never sounded better and the songs are funny, charming, and catchy. It's very moving in places, too. She is a massive talent. If you have never heard a Regina album, this is a good place to start.

Special mention should go to the heartbreaking - yet very uplifting - ballad 'How'. What a great song this is!
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By yenco on 27 Mar 2013
Format: MP3 Download Verified Purchase
An amazing album. When i listen to it, the vocals, rhythm and harmony make it like listening to a Broadway show. There's ups' downs, happies and sads.
She's like a fresh new Tori Amos.
Love her ...love the album....what a clever girl!
Strongly recommended.
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on 1 Jun 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Quirky, inventive and captivating. A masterpiece in the sea of mediocrity that is today's music scene. Buy it today, you wont regret it.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andy Sweeney TOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 1 Jan 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
In recent years, Regina Spektor has become one of my favourite artists, her creativity, artistic integrity and individual voice making each of her albums a real treasure amongst so much homogenised pop. The comparisons between her and Tori Amos are inevitable, but Regina has a far more developed sense of musical fun than Tori (as wonderful as she is) and she is certainly no copyist. She can write beautiful, stark, emotionally stripped pieces (Firewood) and insanely catchy, jaunty pop masterpieces (Don't Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas)) and yet they can sit happily next to each other on her truly eclectic albums. It's albums such as this which restores my faith in human artistic endeavour - if only this was the kind of crafted, intelligent music the majority of people wanted to listen to instead of the mainstream pap on commercial radio, I can't help feeling that the world would be a better place. Music to be savoured and celebrated.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By BooKB on 26 Jun 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Good old Regina. There's nothing spectacularly new here compared to previous albums, but I don't want different. I want Regina, and I got her, and I love it. That's worth the 5 stars.
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By Mr D G Barton on 12 Nov 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Superb album. Getting played to death at the mo
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By Callum Hall on 18 Oct 2014
Format: Vinyl Verified Purchase
Great service, great album
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