Regina Spektor

Whether you’ll find a place in your heart for Regina Spektor will depend in large part on your reaction to her voice — a compelling compound of immigrant street brat, operatic Björk, and histrionic P.J. Harvey. Riding fits of imitation classical piano, Spektor somehow coaxes smiles from the decidedly smileless by exploiting the malleability of the English language. Indignant, accented speed-raps — No thank you/No thank you/No thank you/No thank you/Ain’t about to die like this — slice through the agonizing, cancerous limbo of “Chemo Limo.” Is “Sailor Song” a drinking chant for horny seamen stuck in a bar with a tease or a Gilligan’s Island subtext? You decide. The song lists and rolls queasily as Spektor offers stress-and-stretch variations on the line Mary Ann’s a bitch, the name thrown back like a closed fist, the epithet delivered matter-of-factly. On the Kill Kenada punk-up “Your Honor,” Spektor carelessly nuh-nuh-nahs along with the Tarantino-trashy central riff when not slagging a boyfriend for brawling over her in Grease-ese or melting into soft piano and pliant-wife submissiveness.

Categories: Music