Review Summary: Utilizing her creativity and incredible voice, Regina Spektor has crafted one of the most beautiful and quirky albums of 2012.
Having never heard Regina’s earlier albums, this review won’t be making any comparisons to her highly acclaimed works such as Soviet Kitsch.
Instead, my goal is simply to explain why What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
is not only an enjoyable pop release, but one of the best albums of 2012. Such a statement is always met with doubt or skepticism, but there’s a certain charm in Spektor’s music that makes her really hard not to enjoy, even for those who aren’t usually into the pop genre.
As one might expect from a pop album, one of the most rewarding aspects of Spektor’s 2012 release is found in her incredible vocals. Unlike some pop singers, she sounds quirky and highly original which keeps the album from sounding like just another pop release. She’s labeled as “Indie-Pop” and it’s not hard to see why. Rather than rely on cheap gimmicks like mainstream pop artists the album is overflowing with creativity such as heard on ‘Oh Marcello’ or the third track ‘Don’t Leave Me (Ne me quitte pas)‘. The latter is one of the most upbeat and likeable songs on the record and Spektor sings in French in the chorus, but the use of trumpets really brings the song to life. Other songs such as ‘Ballad of a Politician’ also show Spektor’s not afraid to try something new. The track is highly satirical and sarcastic, but in a brilliant way that only a talented singer/songwriter could pull off. The instrumentation is lighter than most the songs on the album as the song relies mostly on Spektor’s sassy but loveable attitude.
Apart from the more upbeat and experimental sounding tracks, What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
is packed with beautiful piano laced ballads. ‘Firewood’ contains perhaps Spektor’s most gorgeous vocals on the record and it is accompanied by lighthearted piano notes. ‘How’ is nearly as enjoyable and follows a similar song structure, but one of the nicest surprises on the album is found in ‘The Party.’ Unlike the other ballads it is extremely peppy and just forces a smile onto the listeners face with it’s joyful and upbeat nature.
Whether you’re looking for unique and upbeat pop songs or some more laid back pop ballads, there is enough variety on Spektor’s newest release to please just about anybody. The young indie pop star has been making waves ever since her breakthrough album “Soviet Kitsch” and although I haven’t heard that album, this release is sure to keep please longtime fans as it stands out as one of the most impressive releases of 2012. From Regina’s beautiful voice and the somber piano to the creative lyrics and song structures, What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
is a fantastic and charming album.