Regina Spektor
Soviet Kitsch


4.0
excellent

Review

by Tyler Fisher EMERITUS
December 27th, 2006 | 111 replies | 25,608 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Soviet Kitsch is stripped down and beautiful yet sassy and sarcastic. Regina Spektor speaks her mind on all kinds of subjects, singing and writing lyrics with brilliance.

The little smirk on Regina Spektor’s face and the glint in her eyes is equal to the mystery of the Mona Lisa. Luckily, whoever did this album art gave little clues about Regina that show what this look really means. She’s staring at you, taking a good gulp of whatever’s in that bottle, and she’s not going to offer you any. Hell, she isn’t even going to put on anything special for you, just a plain white tanktop. That hat on her head is just for self-indulgence. It’s not that Regina isn’t a nice person; she just doesn’t care what you think. She doesn’t care about you, period. But she will tell you what’s on her mind. Gladly. That’s why she has Soviet Kitsch.

Soviet Kitsch is about as simple as it gets. Regina Spektor possesses a fantastic singing voice with equally as fantastic lyrical writing skill and wit. She weaves stories with the skill of a novelist yet tells them so simply it’s like hearing your neighbor tell you about her day. Her lyrics and messages are clearly the focus of the album, as she works in strange accelerandos and ritardandos (speed ups and slow downs) to get in everything she has to say, seen most prominently in Poor Little Rich Boy. The song describes an ignorant, arrogant boy who has no values and has much to learn. As she sings, she has a piano and percussion that sounds like a drummer playing on a table for accompaniment. With the simple instrumentation, she takes the song through a couple odd-feeling tempo changes to get all her words in. Poor Little Rich Boy shows off many of Spektor’s typical tactics to creating a unique and still catchy song, including her relentless repetition. The song closes with two lines repeated ad nauseam- “You’re so god damn young” and “You don’t love your girlfriend.” Brilliantly, the tempo changes keep it from getting too repetitious. Poor Little Rich Boy is the perfect capitulation of all her typical techniques.

Still, Spektor makes sure things don’t get predictable. While she finds herself most comfortable singing with just a piano accompaniment, she steps out of her shell more than a few times. Your Honor has a full rock band playing with her, although it is technically terribly produced and played sloppily. However, that’s just the intention of the song. It’s short and also gives a good break with a beautiful piano interlude. Us, although not the longest song on the album, feels the most epic because of the wonderful string arrangements and its uptempo and fleeting style. Regina’s voice sings perfectly above the lush mix of piano and strings, with the accompaniment giving her direction, power, and support. Ode to Divorce, the beautiful album opener, takes the strings but uses them in a sparser manner, only to give a few swells here and there.

As a whole, Soviet Kitsch is a wonderful stripped down pop album. Regina’s voice never tires as she throws in various inflections that make her who she is; they give her a unique sassiness and style. Her lyrics are perfectly crafted into the songs, even when she has to take a few detours to get everything out in one breath. From cancer to divorce to the soulless “big suits”, Spektor speaks her opinion on all of them. Despite its stripped down style and basic harmonic structure, Soviet Kitsch has plenty of replay value and possesses some superb songs that will infect your mind.

Recommended Tracks:
Ode to Divorce
Poor Little Rich Boy
Us
Ghost of Corporate Future
Chemo Limo



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user ratings (421)
Chart.
4
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Foursmallhats (5)
The album that revealed Regina to be the master storyteller that she is....


Comments:Add a Comment 
mx
Moderator
December 27th 2006


733 Comments


I like "Us"; good review

radianteclipse
December 27th 2006


397 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I love this album, one of my favorites! And she is my favorite...I love her more than a man should love a musician.

Hatshepsut
December 27th 2006


1997 Comments


Pwahah I'm downloading this now. Good review.

The Jungler
December 27th 2006


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've only heard select tracks by Regina Spektor, they've all been good though. Us is probably the only one I've heard off of this.
Good review.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
February 17th 2007


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

so good

Kyle
February 17th 2007


667 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

told you

I would love to review this, but you did a pretty great job so it seems pointless

HappyHooker
March 11th 2007


6 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

my favorite album of hers. good review.

plane
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2007


6094 Comments


Poor Little Rich Boy is so awesome. This whole album is so good.

antihippy
July 8th 2007


696 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

much better than begin to hope.

cometuesday
July 8th 2007


959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Begin to Hope < Soviet Kitsch < 11:11

Though, The Flowers and Chemo Limo are very good.

plane
Staff Reviewer
July 8th 2007


6094 Comments


11:11 is down there with Songs as her worst, but they're all still really good.

The Jungler
July 17th 2007


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules surprisingly hard.
Going to see her at Lollapalooza

samthebassman
August 29th 2007


2164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This album has such charming qualities.

Bron-Yr-Aur
September 14th 2007


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ghost of corporate future oh yes

[quote=review]She weaves stories with the skill of a novelist yet tells them so simply it’s like hearing your neighbor tell you about her day.[/quote]
very appropriate simile. great review.This Message Edited On 09.14.07

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
September 14th 2007


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I finally got this two weeks ago.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
September 14th 2007


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

finally

foreverendeared
November 17th 2007


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i need this Begin to hope is soooo very good

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
November 17th 2007


4927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

this album is overrated. I thing Begin to Hope is superior to this.

The Jungler
November 17th 2007


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

no way, this album slays Begin to Hope.

plane
Staff Reviewer
November 17th 2007


6094 Comments


Begin to Hope has the better singles, but this is the better album overall.

Plus, it's got "Us" and that's one of, if not her best song.



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