Regina Spektor

Regina Spektor combines a whimsical, Björk-like sensibility with singing chops and genuine compassion, and she's usually able to effectively combine the silly and the sweet.

While her previous album, Begin to Hope, featured some jaunty numbers and plenty of nonsensical musings, this year's Far feels more serious. Sure, this is an album that contains a line about constructing a computer out of macaroni pieces, but sturdy production and easy, memorable piano melodies manage to ground nearly all of the songs. Electric Light Orchestra's Jeff Lynne helms two standout tracks, "Blue Lips" and "Wallet," both slow-burning works that peak as satisfactorily as many ELO songs. First single "Laughing With" is another highlight, if only because producer Jacknife Lee (known for his work with Bloc Party) had the good sense to almost completely pull back and let Spektor's haunting vocals carry the track. The song also highlights what's wrong with the album, though, as too often Spektor's quirky musings don't quite feel ready for prime time, such as "God can be funny at a cocktail party while listening to a good God-themed joke," from "Laughing With."

Still, her mesmerizing voice and Far's charming arrangements nonetheless make an evening in her company worth the price of admission.

KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ben Westhoff
Contact: Ben Westhoff