Thursday, January 17, 2008

Artist Review: Regina Spektor

My ex-boyfriend ruined a lot of things for me: the Arcade Fire, my appetite, the delicate lining of my uterus, lazy Sunday afternoons, my fragile self-esteem, and jews, just to name a few. But these things are all temporarily ruined, thankfully - witness not only my recent biopsy-free visit to the OBGYN (take that, pre-cancer cells!) but also my sudden, immediate, and melancholy love for Regina Spektor.

Why am I mentioning my ex in all this? No, he didn't introduce me to her - that was done for me by my folk/anti-folk/bluegrass/tiny-Puerto-Rican-girl-loving friend, Chris. But Spektor's pirouetting voice reminds me so much of Joni Mitchell, a constant on my ex's mp3 player, that I got choked up when I first heard "Hotel Song" (also brutally reminding me of the fact that the ex was a cokehead...sigh).

Luckily, the ex was too focused on the manufactured sounds of Lily Allen to get into someone as talented and anti-establishment as Spektor. Her darling lyrics grip me in the way that only Fiona Apple (don't scoff, I'm referring to "Tidal") and Tori Amos (specifically referring here to "Tiny Earthquakes," still my favorite) have been able to do. I have never liked "chick singers" other than the three mentioned here - mainly due to the fact that I feel a lot of females tend to be what I said about Lily Allen, manufactured music (or that dreadful nightmare from Evanescence, Amy What’s-her-face, who, when interviewed, actually said that she didn’t realize that people were hearing her innermost thoughts, and hadn’t thought about the fact that her lyrics were exposing so much of her personal life. Uhhh???).

My introduction to Spektor was "Begin to Hope," followed by her first two albums – and I’ve fallen hopelessly in love with them all. On her first album, “Eleven Eleven,” some of the songs (to me) are reminiscent of Amanda of the Dresden Dolls. I've only just listened to the first two albums yesterday - and, well, ok, it's only my third day on the third album as well. But I'm qualified to write about this! Really! Rarely am I drawn in so quickly to an artist, especially a female one. But I'd say Spektor's got my attention.

It doesn't hurt that she's a beautiful little thing. Between her and Jessica the Bonita, I want to start an itty bitty pretty committee of love for the tiniest, cutest girls around.