The quirky and whimsical musician, Regina Spektor, recently released her newest album, “Remember Us to Life.” This album comes four years after her last record “What We Saw from the Cheap Seats.” Spektor will be making a Colorado appearance in Denver at the Fillmore Auditorium March 29. Tickets went on sale last Friday.
Spektor was born in Moscow in 1980 and started practicing piano by age seven. In 1989, Spektor and her family came to the U.S. as refugees, fleeing persecution due to their Jewish heritage. Spektor and her family moved to the Bronx in New York City where she resumed her music studies.
In 2001, Spektor released her first album “11:11,” influenced by the New York jazz scene. Her next three albums came out in quick succession in 2002, 2004 and 2006.
Her work has appeared on an extensive list of movies and TV shows. It serves as the opening song to the show “Orange is the New Black,” and it was also included in the TV show “Weeds” and the movie “500 days of Summer” with Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt.
Spektor produces a unique sound with meaningful lyrics that transport the listeners into her imagination. What often separates her work from others is her ability to tell a story through her music. It is engaging and contemplative. Her music can be soft, delicate and emotional, such as in “Samson” and “The Call.” It can also be edgy, such as in “You Got Time” or energetic with songs like “Us” and “Fidelity”.
“Remember Us to Life” features 11 songs, and the deluxe version provides listeners with three additional songs: “New Year,” “The One Who Stayed and the One Who left” and “End of Thought.”
Spektor’s album provided listeners with her thoughtful and creative lyrics. Her lyrics, when read on their own, look like stanzas of poetry with alliteration, irony, play on words and rhyme.
The album opens with “Bleeding Heart.” The song is unique in that it evokes multiple moods within one song. It starts out energetic and electronic. It then transitions into a rough and edgier sound, which then transitions into a softer angelic sounding melody. Meanwhile, the song reflects on emotional struggle and the difficulty of coming to terms with it.
The album’s sixth song, “The Light,” features Spektor’s gentle and delicate sound accompanied by piano. The song is contemplative and happy sounding as if it is welcoming a brand new day. Beneath the cheery tune reveals musings of struggles and questions.
Spektor’s first bonus track, “New Year,” is beautiful, emotional and a testimony to Spektor’s storytelling abilities. The song focuses on an older woman spending New Year’s Eve alone. Despite being without the kisses and laughter she formerly associated with the coming of the new year, she wakes up five minutes before the stroke of the hour and thanks “the old year for all it has brought her.” Feeling full of thankfulness, “she’s just glad she gets to be around to see another spring come to this town.”
Spektor’s album features a slightly different sound. It steps away from her albums fully composed with her and her piano and incorporates a modern, more edited sound. Her ability to tell a story through her songs is evident in the album but not as prominent as in past music.
Overall, “Remember Us to Life” presents a collection detailed, poetic and purposeful songs that work to reflect various angles of the human experience. It is an album that invites the listener to stop and think. Although this album may not be my favorite collection of Spector’s music, it is definitely worth a listen or two.