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on 24 May 2018
Lover Her!
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on 15 February 2006
Expecting a Tori Amos or Bjork clone it was a pleasant surprise to find that this dysfunctional mix of songs and stories sounds more like a blend of Michelle Shocked, Patti Smith and the wonderful Ani Difranco. Regina's confidence, vocal range and swirling piano skills are apparent from the start, the album feel is so close to the live renditions. Spend your time and get to know the songs, its not an easy listen the first time. Enjoy.
21 people found this helpful
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on 5 April 2013
As I say obviously early in career. Very unsophisticated compared to albums such as "Far". Interesting if you like me like Regina's work. You can see when she says she chose some early songs for her last very dissappointing album "Cheap Seats" just the pool of material she had then.
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on 10 November 2014
very good
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HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERon 24 June 2006
When Regina Spektor put out the brilliant "Soviet Kitsch," a lot of people hailed it as a great debut. Of course, it was actually her third album, after the equally brilliant "Songs" and "11:11."

The highlights of those albums are collected in "Mary Ann meets the Gravediggers and Other Short Stories," a sort of best-of collection for anyone who can't locate those first two albums. In other words, this best-of collection is a gorgeous collection of vibrantly eccentric songs.

There's no real order to these songs either. "Mary Ann" veers madly from one album to the next, and most of the songs selected are perhaps deliberately her quirkier ones. You won't find the bittersweet pensiveness of "Ode to Divorce" or any of her quieter songs.

Instead "Mary Ann" is dominated by the thumping insults of "Sailor Song," the rapid-fire minimalist anthem "Oedipus," the dancey scatting of "Pavlov's Daughter," and the rambling, bittersweet pop song about a poor little rich boy, with Spektor changing speeds at a second's notice. "You don't love your giiiirlfriend/And you think... that you should... but shethinksthatshe'sfat/Butsheisn'tbutyoudon'tloveheranyway!"

The high points are the rippling beauty of "Us" ("They made a statue of us/and put it on a mountaintop/now tourists come and stare at us...") and the exquisite "Love Affair," which tells of a love affair, "the kind of love affair/which every respectable building must keep as a legend."

Regina Spektor is often compared to Tori Amos and Fiona Apple, mainly because she plays piano, and they can't find anyone else she is even remotely comparable to. Instead, Spektor plays her music as if piano and strings have been discovered for the very first time, and she is pioneering a new, brave musical style.

Her use of piano and strings is pretty unconventional (and I mean that in the best way), with jagged cello and sharp piano notes, along with a few tambourines, drums and thumping feets. It's part anti-folk, part coffeehouse blues, part oddball pop, and Spektor does it with comfortable flair.

And she can do the coolest things with her edgy voice. "Chemo Limo" is almost entirely blurted out in rapid-fire songs ("IcanaffordchemolikeIcanaffordalimo..."), but can switch to a sweet soaring trill in songs like "Us," where she ripples all over the phrase "we're living in a den of thieves."

For a look back on the now-flourishing career of this insanely talented singer/musician, "Mary Ann Meets the Gravediggers" can't be beat. A treasure.
4 people found this helpful
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on 19 January 2013
I was given this album by a friend who said it was rubbish so had no great expectation.

For the hifi enthusiast the sound quality is excellent except for some background hiss.

The music is original and fresh, if you like easy listening this is not for you but engageing it is.

I liked it first play so played it again after which I am sure this is well worth a try.

You will either love it or hate it. Each song is structured in a simialr form yet is also individual

Strange album but a great find.

The DVD however is weird
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on 22 September 2007
This was the first Regina Spektor album I bought, and I still think it's by far the best. Full of quirk and intrigue, whereas (dare I say it) some of the later works (like new album Begin To Hope) have elements of Norah Jones and other duller singer/songwriters. Oedipus, Chimo Limo, Consequence Of Sound, Lacrimosa.....the list of brilliant and highly original songs is endless. Full of personality, everybody should definitely buy this album.

The only thing that lets it down is the poor production on some of the tracks (is that a ruler I hear being banged on a desk as percussion in one song?...), but in some ways this does add to the quirkiness....
3 people found this helpful
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on 2 August 2006
I also heard her on Womans Hour and was captivated by "Love Affair" and, having read the above review, I bought the album. But unfortunately I don't like any of the other songs - to me they are not in the same league as "Love Affair" which is witty, jazzy and unusual. The others are just weird and rambly to my ear. I gave it away within a week of buying it.
2 people found this helpful
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on 19 March 2007
...because it's her best. Her most consistent collection of songs (to date), where she gives her incredible voice full reign over the music. The guy who "skipped from 'Sailor Song' to 'Us'" is missing out - there's at least four more outstanding songs in between. 'Pavlov's Daughter' and 'Consequence of Sounds' feature some of the best lyrics and vocal performances on the album.

Overall I prefer this to the new CD, 'Begin to Hope' - where the vocals and lyrics seem slightly tamer. I'm not one to discard more 'mainstream' music, but in that case I think she lost some of her magic. It's still a great album though.
2 people found this helpful
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It's not often I find an album for every mood..this album is fantastic! Truly wonderful..with elements of various genres, Regina deals with original, interesting topics and adds her beautiful unique vocals. With humour, detail and despair- this album has it all!

It's hard to pick out a favourite track, but I particuarly love "Love Affair" and "Lacrimosa".

This album has inspired me to play the piano again!

I can't recommend it enough!
3 people found this helpful
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