Regina Spektor – Far

January 01, 1970

(Sire)

 

www.sirerecords.com

 

Any fears that the Soviet Kitsch girl would have eased up on
the eccentricities by now are laid to rest by the opening track, “The
Calculation,” with its loopy polka beat and the opening line, “You went into
the kitchen cupboard, got yourself another hour and you gave half of it to me.”
It isn’t long before they’ve made their own computer out of macaroni pieces and
divided out their feelings.

 

On the near-euphoric “Folding Chair,” one of four songs here
produced by ELO’s Jeff Lynne, her invitation to “come and open up your folding
chair next to me” is quickly followed by her blurting out her plans to start a
family as the song kicks into overdrive (“Let’s get a Silver Bullet trailer and
have a baby boy. I’ll safety pins his clothes all cool and you’ll graffiti up
his toys.”). But for all her quirky charms, she’s just as brilliant in her
straighter moments, from the melancholy balladry of “Eet” to the verses of “Laughing
With,” where her serious voice sets the tone with an ominous “No one laughs at
God in a hospital.”

 

From there, she rattles off a laundry list of situations
where people aren’t laughing at God before dropping the serious tone on a
chorus that starts with her sighing “But God can be funny at a cocktail party
when listening to a good God-themed joke” and ends with her laughing at people
who present him like “a genie who does magic like Houdini or grants wishes like
Jiminy Crickets and Santa Claus.” There aren’t a lot of artists who could sell
those verses and that chorus, but in Spektor’s hands, it’s magic. Like Houdini,
only quirkier.

 

Standout tracks: “The Calculation,” “Laughing With” A. WATT

 

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