Regina Spektor
Begin To Hope


5.0
classic

Review

by Dylan S. USER (68 Reviews)
February 22nd, 2010 | 26 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A fourth album of love, heartbreak, and cigarettes.

Russian native, Regina Spektor was born with music in her blood, her father, an amateur violinist; and her mother, a college professor at a music school. It should come as no surprise that when the littlest Spektor was born in 1980, she had a talent to be explored. Be learned piano young, while at the same time being exposed to rock n’ roll including bands like, Queen and The Beatles. Sadly, when Spektor was nine her family chose to leave Russia and travel elsewhere, this move though forced a young Regina to leave her prized upright piano behind. However, when the family moved to Manhattan when Spektor was seventeen, she found a new piano and picked up her talent where she left off. Regina had found her niche.

Since 1999 Spektor has been writing and recording music releasing albums like, 11:11, Songs, and Soviet Kitsch, all of which were very well done and talented explorations of her singing and piano playing. Spektor reached her prime though in 2006 with Begin to Hope, her fourth studio release. Begin to Hope stands as one of the best examples of what piano playing sing-songwriters should be like, with this album Spektor reached her peak, and she is still not falling.

The album begins with one of Spektor’s most well known songs, “Fidelity,” a simple and quirky little pop tune with building verses, and a hook-fueled chorus. The song stands more as a representation of her incredibly beautiful vocal talent rather than the piano playing, as the keyboarding working is simple and sparsely changes throughout the song. The lyrics, “I never love nobody fully/Always one foot on the ground /And by protecting my heart truly/I got lost/In the sounds/I hear in my mind,” are sung with such a cleansing crispness, it is difficult to sit through the entire song without singing along. The piano and vocals make a swap in the next song, “Better,” which is essentially part two of “Fidelity.” This second track explodes with a deathly combo of guitar and piano, the guitar of which provided by Nick Valensi of The Strokes fame. Using that same hook of the previous song, “Better” takes what “Fidelity” brought and adds a instrumental surgery to it, giving a more rock flair rather than piano plus vocals throughout the whole album.

Not yet faltering, thirds song, “Samson” begins. The first true ballad the album about love and love lost. The songs bitter sweet lyrics of, “You are my sweetest downfall/I loved you first,” match the tone of the piano and fluxing of Spektor’s voice, making one of the most emotion songs of the album, and perhaps the best of the album altogether. Yet again using the pairing of two songs, “Samson” is followed by “On the Radio,” the generally happy side of the same story that “Samson” told. The entire song just slowly builds to a climax of Spektor’s loud elegant voice balanced out by the always-sweet piano work. If this album tells you anything, it is that Regina knows what she is doing, she is no child in the music industry anymore, and she could very rightfully be the queen of piano tunes in the twenty-first century.

From the heavy bass and percussion, “Hotel Song” to the dark piano driven “Apres Moi” Regina Spektor just constantly builds from the last song, each one featuring their own little spark. Every song on Begin to Hope has its own life, its own heart to it that makes the album come alive. Twelve song, each one just as enjoyable as the last, being able to reach that is a true sign of success. Particularly the rock-flavored tunes like “That Time” showing the obvious influence of her childhood exposure to the likes of Queen and The Beatles. The quick moving guitar and sassy vocals about smoking cigarettes, Regina can make any subject she sings about catchy and beautiful.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
dylantheairplane
February 22nd 2010


2170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Just a quick little write-up of an album I love.

TheWayfarerElectric
February 22nd 2010


154 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Only Regina Spektor album I like. Far sucked and Soviet Kitsch was just there like a mole on your back.

BallsToTheWall
February 22nd 2010


44630 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Far was indeed dissapointing. This was not.

Digging: Mare Cognitum - Phobos Monolith

ninjuice
February 22nd 2010


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

It can't be disappointing when it's the best.

BallsToTheWall
February 22nd 2010


44630 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Lol no.

dylantheairplane
February 22nd 2010


2170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I actually haven't heard Far yet, and hearing its disappointing makes me frown

jeremologyy
February 22nd 2010


269 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5 | Sound Off

so not a 5. nice review but she has progressively gotten worse. begin to hope isnt as bad as Far, but theyre both boring bland high-quality studio major label blase messes. the second half of begin to hope is good (apres moi and lady are two of her best songs) and the bonus cd is good, but thats it.

11:11 and Songs... that's real regina.

ninjuice
February 22nd 2010


6760 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Better vocals and less repetition is sooooo gay

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
February 22nd 2010


15051 Comments


really good album

makes me nostalgic

prolly a 4.5

Eclectic
February 22nd 2010


3302 Comments


I'm tempted to neg, there are a heap of grammatical errors and mistakes that annoyed me.

"Russian native, Regina Spektor was born with music in her blood, her father, an amateur violinist; and her mother, a college professor at a music school."

Here's how I think it should read:

"A Russian native, Regina Spektor was born with music in her blood; her father was an amateur violinist, and her mother was a college professor at a music school."

"Twelve songs, each one just as enjoyable as the last,"

The whole review is littered with basic mistakes like that. Proofreading is your friend, trust me on that.

I won't neg though since I actually did enjoy reading the review.

I can't put it any plainer than this: Far was my album of the year, I loved every minute of it.

dylantheairplane
February 22nd 2010


2170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

me + commas = nightmare

trust me I know


Eclectic
February 22nd 2010


3302 Comments


Lol, I noticed that

dylantheairplane
February 22nd 2010


2170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Nice to see some other people enjoy neging without commenting though.

Eclectic
February 22nd 2010


3302 Comments


Bastards, they'll probably turn up soon though

dylantheairplane
February 22nd 2010


2170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Doubt it, my review are always plagued with negs and no comments as to why

Eclectic
February 22nd 2010


3302 Comments


Unlucky on that one, I guess there's not much you can do about it

dylantheairplane
February 22nd 2010


2170 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

Yeah I've pretty much accepted that, but i've thought of requesting a rule that to neg you also have too comment why. I dont think it would get anywhere though

EliteChiefModerator
February 22nd 2010


251 Comments


somebody please clue me in as to why exactly negs matter

Romulus
February 22nd 2010


8441 Comments


They should just get rid of the pos/neg thing. It's way more trouble than it's worth and gets people all hyped up

Lions
February 22nd 2010


1015 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

need to hear this. both far and soviet kitsch super rule.



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