Regina Spektor - What We Saw from the Cheap Seats
2004's Soviet Kitsch and its 2006 follow-up Begin To Hope introduced New Yorker/Muscovite and anti-folk heroine Regina Spektor to a public broader than just the inhabitants of coffee houses on Manhattan's Lower East Side and soon Spektor's star rose considerably thanks to hits like 'Us' (heard in many a film trailer), 'Hotel Song' (heard in many a television commercial) and 'Fidelity' (heard on many a radio station). It was here, though, that the train became slightly derailed.
In 2009 Spektor released Far, the follow up to her biggest hit Begin To Hope, and it was met with less than effusive praise as the signature off-beat licks which defined her previous releases were sorely lacking, replaced with a more downbeat and less accessible persona. What We Saw from the Cheap Seats is Regina's chance for a do-over but, while it's better than Far, it's still lacking the charm of her earlier releases.
That isn't to suggest it's overtly bad, though. There are some songs which would sit pretty comfortably among the best of Spektor's discography like 'Small Town Moon', 'All The Rowboats', 'Patron Saint' and 'Jessica' but there's really very little to give credence to any suggestion that What We Saw From The Cheap Seats is close to Regina Spektor's best work.
Review by John Balfe | 13:43 | Monday 16th April 2012 | Album Review
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