Regina Spektor: “Far”
At this point, there’s probably not much point trying to tie Regina Spektor’s career to a strict, straightforward narrative arc. On the surface, hers might seem like a common enough story: The artist cranks out a few cult records in relative obscurity, attracts major label attention with her breakthrough Soviet Kitsch, then steps into the big-time with Begin to Hope, a bigger-budget album that made enough pop concessions to draw in a few new fans but not so many that she lost many of her old ones.
The thing is, nothing’s quite as simple as it first seems with Regina Spektor: Her music has always been pop at heart, and Begin to Hope didn’t reject her quirkier tendencies so much as it smoothed them out a bit. And now, Far muddies things even more; at once the most commercial and accessible album of her career as well as a more sophisticated and deceptive album than Begin to Hope, it’s nothing if not a careful and competent demonstration of how to make a play for the mainstream without selling your soul.
Read the rest at Stereo Subversion.