CD Far [Regina Spektor] (CD 4659950),
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Far [Regina Spektor]
1. Calculation, The
3. Blue Lips
4. Folding Chair
6. Laughing With
7. Human of the Year
8. Two Birds
9. Dance Anthem of the 80's
10. Genius Next Door
12. One More Time with Feeling
13. Man of a Thousand Faces
Manufacturer Part Number (MPN): 519396
David Kahne; Jacknife Lee; Jeff Lynne; Mike Elizondo; Regina Spektor; David Kahne; Jacknife Lee; Jeff Lynne; Mike Elizondo
Tom McFall; Marc Mann; David Kahne; Beck Henderer-Pena; Steve Jay; Joe Mendelson; Joe Barresi; Adam Hawkins
Personnel: Regina Spektor (vocals, piano, keyboards, drums, percussion); Jack Dishel (vocals); Jeff Lynne (guitar, 12-string guitar, keyboards, background vocals); Jacknife Lee (guitar, keyboards, drums, percussion, programming); Sonia Slany (violin, viola); Katherine Jenkinson, Yoed Nir (cello); Brad Warnaar (French horn); Oren Marshall (tuba); Marc Mann (keyboards, programming); Mike Elizondo (upright bass); David Price, Matt Chamberlain (drums, percussion); McKenzie Smith (drums); Steve Jay (shaker); David Kahne (programming).
Audio Mixers: Marc Mann; David Kahne; Steve Jay; Jacknife Lee; Michael Brauer.
Illustrator: Brendan T. Sharkey.
Photographers: Adria Petty; Jeri Heiden.
Regina Spektor worked with no less than four big-name producers on FAR, all of them with very different backgrounds: David Kahne was her collaborator on 2006's BEGIN TO HOPE; Garret "Jacknife" Lee counts R.E.M. and U2 among his credits; Jeff Lynne's lavish sound is famous on ELO's albums; and Mike Elizondo has worked with Fiona Apple and Maroon 5. It's something of a surprise, then, that FAR sounds so homogenized. On SOVIET KITSCH and BEGIN TO HOPE, Spektor's wide-eyed moments were balanced with darker, knowing songs that kept her music grounded. Here, almost all of the rough or unpredictable edges have been smoothed away, and all that's left is Spektor's sweet, quirky side.
At times, FAR gets close to being too precious, whether it's putting Spektor's name in all lowercase letters in the liner notes, her dolphin on the otherwise charming "Folding Chair," or lyrics like "We made our own computer out of macaroni pieces" on the chirpy opener, "The Calculation." Even the album's darker tracks, such as the percussion-heavy "Machine," are surprisingly sugary compared to her previous work. However, Spektor's guileless voice and delivery allow her to get away with sounds and ideas that would be cloying in the hands of almost any other artist. She manages to make a song with the chorus "Eet, eet, eet" catchy and affecting, and fashions an observant and witty story out of returning a wallet to Blockbuster Video. Still, FAR's best moments occur when Spektor turns down the whimsy a few notches
Rolling Stone (p.77) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "FAR matches KITSCH's rococo flow with the follow-up's pop smarts....'Laughing With' begins as a meditation on God's wicked sense of humor and end collapsing in an existential freakout over a soft beat and weeping cello..."
Spin (p.88) - "[I]t's 'Folding Chair,' which refines Spektor's blend of classicist flourish and pure pop sense, that best encapsulates her talents and gnarly eccentricities."
Billboard (p.34) - "With her third Sire album, FAR, Spektor again shows how original she is, finding the gleam in modern life with its contradictions and confusion in a uniquely colloquial manner."
Record Collector (magazine) (pp.94-95) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "Darker themes are explored...delivered in a a deceptively sweet voice that sugar-coats the sinister heart of her subject matter."
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