• Wed, Dec 1, 2021

Regina Spektor - What We Saw From The Cheap Seats


album Reviews Jul 16, 04:36pm

MEDHA SINGH Upon being questioned, one young listener of this album said to me ‘…she [Spektor]


Upon being questioned, one young listener of this album said to me ‘…she [Spektor] is singing what has been sung before, done to death, and has nothing to say… she is just trite now.’ Some people might describe Regina Spektor as endearingly quirky, some as downright weird. Nevertheless, given all her inconsistencies and unpredictable tempo shifts, this one seems to be one of her better efforts, with her eccentricities musically manifesting themselves decently well on the album.

The songs ‘Ballad of a Politician’ and her redoing of ‘Ne Me Quitte Pas’ safely rest in the bracket of average, solely lending itself to the literature of the songs and not the music in particular, or perhaps even its sensory elements. The former is a satire in which she suggests a politician to “shake it, shake it baby!”, except that it’s a shoddy one; the song ‘Open’ features some of her mouth-music with a really strange inhaling sound that is supposed to give way to ‘open notes’; some reviews might commend her for it, though we are left utterly unimpressed.

The opening track, ‘Small Town Moon’, while seeming to be chirpy, has a fatalism to it in the lyrics: “Today we’re younger than we’re ever gonna be/ whoo!”, which would be intelligent if it were intended; one remains uncertain. All things considered, there are some wonderful compositions on the album and one thing that remains constant is her resolve to the novelty she espouses by way of her pronounced vocals and piano. Her songwriting is extremely expressive and unrestrained. The music is peppered with sporadic beatboxing, caricature voices and an intended effigy of heartbreak and anxiety, which ends up making the album theatrical; a tragicomedy if you will.

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