Friday, October 14, 2022

Albums of the Year # 72 Regina Spektor - Home, Before & After


The opening track on Regina Spektor's new album Home, before & after, sum up her and her appeal and charms, better possibly than any track she's ever put out.

Becoming All Alone, comes with a disclaimer. It is cute. Extremely cute. It finds Spektor having a conversation with God walking home one New York morning. He invites her for a beer and they discuss what this life thing is all about and why things can seem so ridiculously unfair. That's what you get. This is Regina Spektor.

Well Spektor is cute but also fiendishly ambitious. It'is something that you have to accept and embrace about her. This is as much West End Musical as it is Pop or Rock record. She was always a talent apart. 

I don't have problems with any of this. Since I discovered her a few years back, she's become one of my favourite living artists. But she's probably not for everyone. You have to have a sense of wonder and a special place in your heart for childhood to really have your head fully turned by her.

Emerging with the wave of wonderful talent that exploded so unexpectedly with The Strokes at the turn of the millenium she has ripened and matured since, an astonishing, classically trained talent sat at her piano at the side of stage, one part Carole King, one part Disney or Pixar heroine.

Home, before & after rather overplays the cute card. I don't like it quite as much as 2016's Remember Us To Life, the astonishing record that really made me truly fall in love with her.

She's a little too much ingenue here. She flutters her eyelids one too many times. Nevertheelss it also contains some of her very best songs. It's still a good record, Spektor is such a good artist that I'd say she's incapable of making a totally bad LP. But I have to say I'm slightly disappointed with some of this.. 

Despite a few quite spectacular tracks here, there's just a bit too much saccharine elsewhere  for my taste. I'll play it some more and am hopening it will win me over. But I'll probaly return to Remember Us To Life as my go to Spektor.

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