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Far
     

Far

4.5 20
by Regina Spektor
 

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Regina Spektor worked with no less than four big-name producers on Far, all of them with very different backgrounds: David Kahne was her collaborator on 2006's Begin to Hope; Garret "Jacknife" Lee counts R.E.M. and U2 among his credits; Jeff

Overview

Regina Spektor worked with no less than four big-name producers on Far, all of them with very different backgrounds: David Kahne was her collaborator on 2006's Begin to Hope; Garret "Jacknife" Lee counts R.E.M. and U2 among his credits; Jeff Lynne's lavish sound is famous on ELO's albums; and Mike Elizondo has worked with Fiona Apple and Maroon 5. It's something of a surprise, then, that Far sounds so homogenized. On Soviet Kitsch and Begin to Hope, Spektor's wide-eyed moments were balanced with darker, knowing songs that kept her music grounded. Here, almost all of the rough or unpredictable edges have been smoothed away, and all that's left is Spektor's sweet, quirky side. At times, Far gets close to being unbearably precious, whether it's putting Spektor's name in all lowercase letters in the liner notes, her dolphin on the otherwise charming "Folding Chair," or lyrics like "We made our own computer out of macaroni pieces" on the chirpy opener, "The Calculation." Even the album's darker tracks, such as the percussion-heavy "Machine," are surprisingly sugary compared to her previous work. However, Spektor's guileless voice and delivery allow her to get away with sounds and ideas that would be horribly cloying in the hands of almost any other artist. She manages to make a song with the chorus "Eet, eet, eet" catchy and affecting, and fashions an observant and witty story out of returning a wallet to Blockbuster Video. Still, Far's best moments occur when Spektor turns down the whimsy a few notches. It's probably not a coincidence that the Kahne-produced "Human of the Year" shares some of Begin to Hope's intimacy and ambition, but "Blue Lips" and "Man of a Thousand Faces" also let Spektor's more mature -- but not overly serious -- side shine. Likewise, "Two Birds" and "One More Time with Feeling" show that she hasn't lost her touch for deceptively pretty pop with clever lyrics. While Far is far from bad, it doesn't quite live up to expectations, either, based on all the talent involved in making it and how fully Spektor expressed herself on Begin to Hope.

Editorial Reviews

Rolling Stone - Jon Dolan
Spektor is a woman who doesn't need much excuse to have an emotional Chernobyl (in one song, it's finding a wallet with a Blockbuster card in it). But she's also the rare screwball who gets more universal as she gets weirder.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/23/2009
Label:
Sire / London/Rhino
UPC:
0093624976455
catalogNumber:
519396
Rank:
9287

Related Subjects

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Regina Spektor   Primary Artist,Percussion,Piano,Drums,Keyboards,Vocals
Jeff Lynne   Bass,Guitar,Keyboards,Background Vocals,12-string Guitar
Matt Chamberlain   Percussion,Drums
David Price   Percussion,Drums
Sonia Slany   Violin,Viola
Brad Warnaar   French Horn
Marc Mann   Keyboards
Mike Elizondo   Bass,Upright Bass
Oren Marshall   Tuba
Reggie Watts   Beat Box
Mckenzie Smith   Drums
Jack Dishel   Vocals
Jacknife Lee   Bass,Guitar,Percussion,Drums,Keyboards
Katherine Jenkinson   Cello
Yoed Nir   Cello
Mike Slizondo   Bass
Steve Jay   Shaker

Technical Credits

Jeff Lynne   Producer,Audio Production
Joe Mendelson   Engineer
Joe Barresi   Engineer
David Kahne   Programming,Producer,Engineer,Audio Production
Tom Whalley   Executive Producer
Jeri Heiden   Art Direction
Marc Mann   Programming,Engineer
Mike Elizondo   Producer,Audio Production
Beck Henderer-Pena   Engineer
Adam Hawkins   Engineer
Tom McFall   Engineer
Adria Petty   Art Direction
Regina Spektor   Composer,Producer,String Arrangements
Jacknife Lee   Programming,Producer,Audio Production
Brendan T. Sharkey   Illustrations
Steve Jay   Engineer

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Far 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Revolutions_of_Ruin More than 1 year ago
For those who have never heard Spektor's unique blend of pop and folk, "Far" is a great catalyst album. Longtime fans will note that it leans more toward the pop side, but that doesn't mean that the CD lacks the clever and quirky tunes that Spektor is known for. The opening track, "The Calculation," is instantly catchy and is a prime example of Spektor's songwriting prowess (preteens take note that she could show the Jonas Brothers a thing or two about "Burning Up"), while her semi-autobiographical "Machine" is a percussionistic dream, featuring a chain-link fence as its main instrument. Other songs like "Wallet" and "Eet" are endearing and catchy, and as always, strikingly poignant. It might not top previous albums like "Begin to Hope" or "Soviet Kitsch" for most diehard fans, but "Far" is a great introductory album for anyone new to Regina Spektor.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It isn't odd that I would rate a Regina Spektor album with 5 stars. Her voice ranges from powerful to soft, sometimes in the same songs. She is an exemplary singer, and this album proves this even more. Her songs have deeper meanings, and really make you think, while also being light and fun. My favorite album by my favorite singer.
camb More than 1 year ago
It's wonderful to listen to as one cruises down the highway, with it turned up VERY loudly, of course. I'm 62, and I think she's great!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Seany_Ryan More than 1 year ago
Of what is easily fun and great about Regina Spektor, really doesn't find its way to this album. The songs are beautifully sang and wonderfully performed; which is not a surprise from this artist. On a whole this doesn't really break any new ground and doesn't have a lot jumping out at you. This is a great listen once or twice but you wont be running back to the well very much on this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
regina is one of my favorite artists and I was so excited to hear she came out with another album. again her voice is seamless and her talent at the piano is incredible
GeorgiegirlOR More than 1 year ago
I saw Regina on the David Letterman show some time ago, and I thought she was absolutely adorable. In fact, I saved her performance and kept playing it. Finally, I bought her CD, and am thrilled to own it. Not only is she quite unusual, breathtakingly beautiful, writes her own songs, and sings like treasures every word. She puts so many other singers to shame....everyone should buy her CD.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Every song is worth listening to multiple times. I never got tired of any of them. She's topped herself with creativity, imagination, and thought-provoking lyrics and piano.
ChocolateLady More than 1 year ago
This album doesn't belie Regina's anti-folk roots, and while the overall feel is generally softer than her previous albums, it still has enough of her inimitable lyrics mixed with supple vocals and skillful instrumentation to make it still feel distinctively Spektor. This isn't an album for chilling out to, but rather one that will intrigue and fascinate, making you want to listen to it carefully and investigate all the aspects contained within, and particularly the lyrics. Moreover, the more you listen to this album, the more you find in it, both lyrically and vocally. While some may not totally approve of the slightly slicker productions on these tracks, they don't really detract from the whole, and to my mind, actually give this album a by and large more polished, if not mature sound. I'll go so far as to give it a full five stars out of five and highly recommend this one. Well done, Regina!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Incredible production, Jeff Lynne, David Kahne, Mike Elizondo, Jacknife Lee and others have brought the production chops that bring out extra facets of Regina's range as an artist. She has an ability to be the music, no explanation needed - no dissection - let her take you to her world and enjoy the magic......
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