CD Review: Regina Spektor, far (with video)

It’s been three years since Soviet-American songstress Regina Spektor first enchanted us with the soul-pop perfection of Begin to Hope and proved herself a storyteller with a keen sense of detail and drama, a confident singer with a broad vocal range — from high and pure to low and sensual — and a poet with a unique use of words and an alluring inflection, not as if English were her second language, but as if she’s established a whole new charming style of speaking.

The follow-up and Spektor’s fifth studio album doesn’t quite attain the catchy ease of its predecessor, but far (Sire Records) carries its own abundance of appeal.

In the bouncy opening track, “The Calculation,” Spektor playfully ponders the mathematical equation of love and the surprising fury of its burn while in "Folding Chair," she enjoys a casual day at the beach with her sweetheart and daydreams of domestic bliss (“Let’s get a silver bullet trailer, and have a baby boy / I’ll safety pin his clothes all cool and you’ll graffiti up his toys”). “The Wallet” shows her way of making the mundane seem remarkable with a touching ballad about finding someone’s lost wallet, and she combines quiet, abstract contemplation with grandiose stretches of piano and rhythmic flourishes in the melancholy yet somehow uplifting “Eet.” (Video after the jump)