- Audio CD (28 May 2012)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: WARNER BROS
- ASIN: B007MDQW3W
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 8,481 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
What We Saw from the Cheap Seats CD
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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.
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
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
Special mention should go to the heartbreaking - yet very uplifting - ballad 'How'. What a great song this is!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Bought this for my daughter who was delighted with the cd. Could not fault the service provided. Would recommend itPublished on 9 Jan. 2014 by Stuart Bulbrooke
This was a present for my son but I listened to it first because i hadn't heard much by Regina. I liked it a lot.Published on 11 Dec. 2013 by spimula
I purchased this CD for the track How, i do like her voice but I do think that the other tracks don't compliment her spacific style and sound, the way the How does. Read morePublished on 30 Oct. 2013 by JH
Regina has a fabulous voice and appears to be a fine pianist as well as an original songwriter, if a little kooky. I love several of the songs but skip past a couple every time. Read morePublished on 23 Sept. 2013 by Kevin C. Keane