Regina Spektor
Soviet Kitsch


4.0
excellent

Review

by FlawedPerfection EMERITUS
December 27th, 2006 | 395 replies


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 (594)
4
excellent
other reviews of this album
Foursmallhats (5)
The album that revealed Regina to be the master storyteller that she is....


Comments:Add a Comment 
mx
Moderator
December 28th 2006


745 Comments


I like "Us"; good review

radianteclipse
December 28th 2006


398 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 28th 2006


1997 Comments


Pwahah I'm downloading this now. Good review.

The Jungler
December 28th 2006


4826 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.

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.

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.

The Jungler
July 17th 2007


4826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Album rules surprisingly hard.

Going to see her at Lollapalooza

samthebassman
August 30th 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


4949 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I finally got this two weeks ago.

foreverendeared
November 18th 2007


14677 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i need this Begin to hope is soooo very good

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
November 18th 2007


4949 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

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

The Jungler
November 18th 2007


4826 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

no way, this album slays Begin to Hope.

IsItLuck?
Emeritus
November 18th 2007


4949 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

WRONG. I AM RIGHT.

FlawedPerfection
Emeritus
April 3rd 2008


2806 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

that would come in handy right now

jrowa001
April 22nd 2008


8752 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is growing on me a bit. i first didnt really like her at all but lucky for i never give up on an artist i know that has potential. and she has it, but its just taking me a bit let it soak in. good voice

cometuesday
April 22nd 2008


959 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i didn't like her at first really either

Big Baby Jesus
April 22nd 2008


549 Comments


I'm not usually into Chick + Piano musical acts(I'm not trying to pigeonhole, but others with her style never got thru to me.), But she is the shit. Kind of a guilty pleasure. Love how brutally honest her lyrics are. I've had this almost a week but I'm still not sure about how to rate it. Somewhere from 3.5-4.5

Plus Carbon Monoxide reminds me of Pacman.

"Wakka Wakka Wakka Wakka......."


EDIT: Goddamn it, I knew somebody had to've done it on YTMND, and it's already been done, many times. It's like last year when I went to put the Kool-Aid guy over the beginning of "Whole Lotta Love", and a bunch of people already did it!! Damn those witty virgins on YTMND!!This Message Edited On 04.22.08



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