Regina Spektor
Begin To Hope


4.5
superb

Review

by radianteclipse USER (26 Reviews)
July 28th, 2006 | 102 replies


Release Date: 2006 | Tracklist


Regina Spektor is a Russian born artist trying to make a name for herself in the American music scene. Thus far, it is working...though it may freak some people out. See, Ms. Spektor isn't your typical female singer/songwriter. Far from it in fact. She integrates her soothing, and sometimes awkward voice into beautifully arranged piano-driven music. But then she takes that rather basic sound throws it in a blender with a nice portion of quirkiness and utter strangeness. Think Fiona Apple, if Fiona Apple was in fact more insane than she already is.

It's hard to put a finger on exactly what this young lady is thinking. Her lyrics are some of the most off the wall and random lyrics I have ever heard. I'm not even entirely sure if she actually has one solid meaning behind the songs. Any listeners of her debut "Soviet Kitsch" know exactly what I am talking about. The critics either loved the unique compositions, are shunned them as effortless crap. She did everything from beat box (a very sad attempt at it I must say), sing loud and obnoxiously with random noises I did not know a woman was capable of, sing such wonderful lines as "your children have grown and you've never made your wife moan" and "gargle with peroxide a stake for your eye, but I'm a vegetarian so it's a frozen pizza pie.", and yet somehow she made one of the most beautiful and interesting albums I've heard in a long time.

"Begin To Hope", her follow up to that album, takes Regina's interesting style to the next level, progressing into something more layered and mature than her previous effort. It's more tame on the quirkiness, but heavy on atmosphere, catchiness, beauty, and still those random outburts of strangeness.

What we have here is Fiona Apple's "Extraordinary Machine" on acid, so to speak. An artisic endeavor into uncharted territory. Something no one has really heard before, not quite in this fashion. The album kicks off with the bump-worthy "Fidelity" with pounding ghetto like bass and thick piano. A very catchy song that is undoubtedly one of the most single-worthy on the album. This leads into the first single off the album, called "Better". This is a unique song for her, as a pretty piano intro leads into a mainly guitar driven song. Something she has not done much of in her career. It's a very catchy song once more, and her lyrics present an unusual sense of normalcy that Regina doesn't usually present. Her voice is held in check but still shines without doing anything too fancy.

There are quite a few tracks on here that provide that catchy, single worthy feel. "On the Radio" is another one, an electronic influenced song again with heavy bass and piano. The "Hotel Song" once again does the same thing, mainly bass oriented with synth and Regina's voice carrying the song throughout. "That Time" kicks it with an extremely simple guitar riff that repeats through the entire song and is by far the the most quirky song on the album...and the one that sounds most like it would've been on her previous album.

But the real gems of the album lie in Regina's more stripped down, personal songs. "Samson" for example is a real work of art. Undoubtedly her most beautiful song ever created, it provides some heartfelt lyrics, a creative and pretty piano part and some nice building and swelling strings. A song that deserves many repeated listens. As does another one of her slower songs...the wonderful "Field Below". Just her and her piano in a slow jazz-like ballad. Perfect late night driving music and a song that will surely give you that warm fuzzy feeling inside. Her voice has that effect.

Classic piano influenced songs like "Apres Mois" and "Summer in the City" have a dark feel to them but are standout tracks without question. Regina has the undeniable ability to change moods throughout the album without affecting the general flow of it all. It's quite a wonderful thing to hear it all come together so wonderfully.

With this album, Ms. Spektor should be gaining more attention. She has put together one of the greatest female singer/songwriter albums in years...right up there with the greats of Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, and Neko Case. With time she should have the respect they all get. She deserves every ounce of attention she gets. This is an album that doesn't come along often. Take it, enjoy it, savor it, love it. Goodbye.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
July 28th 2006


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Regina Spektor is great. Good review.

Cygnus Inter Anates
July 28th 2006


721 Comments


I was going to review this.

You make me cry.

MBS
July 28th 2006


83 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Good album. One of my favorites of 2006.

radianteclipse
July 28th 2006


397 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I'm sorry :-(. You should review it anyways, it will probably be better than mine.

Cygnus Inter Anates
July 28th 2006


721 Comments


Nah, it's cool.

I like the Russian on "Apres Mois" and stuff. "Fidelity" is probably one of my favorite singles of the year so far.

Kyle the 2nd
August 3rd 2006


14 Comments


Great review man, Regina Spektor is cool.

I don't like this album anywhere near as much as soviet Kitsch, but it's still a good effort. Fidelity is a cool tune.

livinginafantasy
August 29th 2006


35 Comments


sounds interesting.
going to have to check this out.

Jubella
October 7th 2006


27 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Soviet Kitch is actually her third album and not her debut. She did the compilation "Mary Ann meets the grave diggers and other short stories" in 2005, "Songs" in 2002 and her debut, "11:11" in 2001. Otherwise, great review!

Iai
Emeritus
October 9th 2006


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

"Samson" has the best chorus of the year. Shame the rest of the song isn't up to scratch. Someone needs to sample it and write a better song around it.

The Jungler
October 9th 2006


4827 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Good review
There's a bunch of kids at my school who are obsessed with this girl. The stuff I've heard is pretty good.This Message Edited On 10.09.06

Two-Headed Boy
October 9th 2006


4527 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I've heard some of her stuf on MySpace and I really liked. I might pick this up sometime.

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
January 4th 2007


17920 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

sooooooo gooooood

La Revolucion
January 4th 2007


1060 Comments


Fidelity is a fun song.

LusciousPerry
January 26th 2007


3 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I really enjoy this album, but have not really given the whole thing a 'real' listen. I like certain tracks, and everytime I put this on, I keep listening only to those, over and over. I do think it will get better with time, as some wonders seem to do for me.
Good Review.

Freeyourmind707
February 8th 2007


71 Comments


She really does remind me of Apple... I think she's actually better.

foreverendeared
February 14th 2007


14678 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i love this album... tho i feel slightly gay singing lyrics about another man

HappyHooker
March 11th 2007


6 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nice review

great album. great artist. cant wait to see her live on the 28th.



trustxdialect
March 11th 2007


1502 Comments


edited for stupidityThis Message Edited On 03.13.07

trustxdialect
March 13th 2007


1502 Comments


I love Fidelity so much. That one point, about 20 seconds left in the song when she seems to lose focus and stops singing "heart" is perfect.

It's late and I felt the need to express my love for Regina Spektor.

diceguybill
April 10th 2007


1 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I love this album and play parts of it every day. I think Regina is a musical genius and, after seeing her in person at SUNY Purchase, a great performer. I love her.



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