By Manal Museitef |Staff Writer|
Regina Spektor has let her heart speak for the first time in three years with her refreshing new studio album What We Saw From the Cheap Seats.
The quaint Russian-American singer/songwriter and pianist now carries six successful LPs under her belt since her debut in 2001. In every one of her albums, Spektor pours her heart into her lyrics while incorporating various styles of vocal pitches and harmonies.
The album starts with deep minor-keys in “Small Town Moon,” in which Spektor sings of the harsh reality that can hit a girl once she’s left her small town life behind.
She gets playful in “Oh Marcello” with a comical Italian accent and refurbished version of Nina Simone’s classic “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood.” Spektor’s vocal range is clearly unveiled in the catchy tune alongside some cool amateur beat-boxing towards the end.
“Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas),” offers a new version of an original (from her album “Songs” in 2002) with a fun French chorus line that translates to: “Do not leave me my dear/do not leave me.
Two songs that held their ground the most on the 11-track album are the hauntingly chilling “How” and “Firewood.” “How” begins with a flat, yet deep piano key and then within 17 seconds the words hit you like a brick wall.
She sings, “How can I forget your love?/How can I never see you again?/There is a time and place/For one more sweet embrace/It’s everyone’s typical love life story, a cruel reminder that/Time can come and wash away the pain.”
In the eerie lyrics from “Firewood,” Spektor illustrates the experiences of losing a beloved to an illness.
The lyrics “Love what you have and you’ll have more love/You’re not dying/Everyone knows you’re going to love/Though there’s still no cure for crying“ are sung over a riveting piano arrangement.
She uses the phrase “The piano is not firewood yet” to symbolize that some struggles in life should not go without an effort to overcome.
Overall, the album encourages a fun, playful feel in addition to its emphasis on gracefully moving lyrics.
Spektor finds a way to give simple words complex meanings. In tracks like “Firewood” and “Jessica,” listeners have complete control over the underlying messages in the songs as each person is free to develop their own interpretation of each song.
What We Saw From the Cheap Seats is full of beautiful songs with deep and personal lyrics. The album is set to hit stores on May 29.