Maybe it's her background as a child immigrant from the former Soviet Union to America in the late '80s that informs her fascinating lyrics, but as for Regina Spektor's interesting musical compositions and gemlike vocals, it's got to be raw talent. Get on the library's hold list sooner rather than later for her new album hot off the press, What We Saw from the Cheap Seats.
After recently coming across Spektor's performances of the songs "Small Town Moon" and "Ballad of a Politician" from this album, aired on the Colbert Report, I immediately regretted having previously put off listening to her music. Now I realize it should have been a higher priority all along, since it features such things as real musical instruments--not as easy to come by as you would think in the pop music of our day--great singing, literary lyricism, and a diverse array of sounds that set each song apart from another. At first glance, it reminds me of the dynamic and soulful vocal range and atmosphere-building piano of Tori Amos circa From the Choirgirl Hotel, and Fiona Apple, but not as dark; storytelling that captures the imagination is reminiscent of Nellie McKay, but not quite so quirky. In other words, it exhibits the best aspects of each. DPL blogger Emily has also pointed out a resemblance to the music of Emiliana Torrini.
While you're waiting for the new album, check out some of her earlier ones:
I invite veteran fans to fill in the gaps or share their enthusiasm and critiques.