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Imagine a female singer-songwriter- pianist for The Strokes generation. Imagine Regina Spektor,who has not only opened for The Strokes but whose major label debut album, Soviet Kitsch, was co-produced by one of that band's producers (Gordon Raphael).Imagine a driven, complex and endearing new artist with a sense of pop melody and clever songwriting,and with charisma to spare. Imagine no more.
- She is wonderful!
I recently got this album and I love it! She is intelligent, provocative, edgy, exciting, emotional, beautiful, intense and fun! I too love Tori and have done so forever; there are similarties, but Regina is defintely doing her own thing. ...more info
- almost too beautiful for words....
You know if there's something I've seen/read/listened to/eaten that almost defies the words I would (normally) use to describe it that this is indicative of something exceptional. This is the case with SOVIET KITSCH, Russian-born and Bronx-bred Regina Spektor's third musical release. We can hear the influences that this passionate and prolific (Spektor claims to have written over 700 songs, at the tender age of 28) musician draws from. They include the Yiddish klezmer music of her Russian-Jewish heritage, "drunken sailor" songs (an example of this being the rowdy "Sailor Song" that sounds like a composition written at 3:00 AM in a smoky bar somewhere), soulful ballads ("Somedays") and much more. Though, for some, Spektor's unbridled and very distinctive vocals might prove to be too much, for me, they work brilliantly with her wildly eclectic tunes. She has been compared to everyone from Bjork to Tori Amos. Though, her vocals are soft, at times, and screeching at others, I really think Regina Spektor has a truly unusual and captivating sound comparable to none. And yes, she does play the piano and sing about quirky and unexpected topics, not unlike Amos, but Spektor is as far from a copy cat as you can get. How many copy cats have you heard of who can successfully meld together blues, r&b, gospel, folk and classical influences, all the while singing about topics like divorce, carbon monoxide and chemotherapy? Personally, I can't think of one. Buy this album today and draw your own conclusions about this marvelous young artist....more info
- Cool style, original lyrics
I really like this girl. She has such unusual songs. I hear she's a bit odd, but you can't deny her songwriting talent and unique style. I like the songs a lot. If you like traditional pop, this might not be for you. But if you are looking for talent left of center, this is it. ...more info
This CD is absolutely superb. Regina Spektor is a genius on many levels. She says what she wants, no matter the subject, and she puts the incredibly original and unique poetry to brilliant music, all done on piano. Her voice is extremely jazzy and beautiful. She is sharp and witty, and quite funny as well. I've never heard anything like her before, and I am very glad I discovered this CD. Her other two CD's [11:11 and Songs] are also brilliant. All three are very strongly suggested. ...more info
- Essential Regina.
If you're a fan of Regina Spektor, obviously this CD should be in your collection. Most reviewers on here obviously saw the video for "Fidelity" on VH1, loved it, went out and bought "Begin to Hope", loved it, wanted more Regina, and then went out and bought "Soviet Kitsch" expecting it to sound exactly like "Begin to Hope" and then were disappointed. That's okay...actually, not really. If you were really a Spektor fan, then you would know not to compare any of her albums, seeing as none of them sound alike. That's what I love about Regina. She comes out with a new album which sounds completely different from the one which came before...which is a lesson many musicians could learn.
Soviet Kitsch is by far one of my favorite albums ever. It's a nice little sampler of the wonder which is Regina Spektor.
Standouts on this album are...every damn song.
Only Regina Spektor can take influences from classical, and mix it up with her rock and roll influences, making songs like "Us" and "The Flowers" a genre of their own. But as you listen to every song, you'll realize it's hard to identify her with just one genre, seeing as she doesn't have one.
And anyone who doesn't love "Poor Little Rich Boy" is just stupid. Only Regina can play the piano with her left hand, while banging a chair with a drumstick with her right hand, and still sound more punk rock than the bullshit being called "punk rock" nowadays.
I don't know how much sense my review made, but basically I just love this album because it's unlike anything I've ever heard before. It's eccentric, all over the place, and effing amazing. a masterpiece.
Regina's a genius. And if you don't like this album, listen again.
- not enough info
I wish more info, or a rating, had been given this music CD. I threw it in the garbage after receiving it due to the vulgar language. I would not listen to it in the presence of my two young sons, nor do I enjoy hearing that kind of language myself....more info
- Good CD, 4 stars cause I like "Begin to Hope" even more.
Good CD, 4 stars cause I like "Begin to Hope" even more....more info
- Regina Spektor
Regina Spektor is truly a genious. She beautifully plays the piano in way that is clearly her own. Her lyrics also are magnificent and cover a broad span of topics. My personal favorites are Ghost of Corporate Future, which is a song encouraging people to always enjoy the little things and do things that make you happy in a world that has the ability to bring you down swallow you whole, and Somedays in which Spektor really shows her talent with the way she weaves her piano playing skills, beautiful song writing, and calm voice.
Even the order of the tracks is perfect. They seem to just flow right into eachother without all sounding the same. And by the time Somedays is over it leaves you wanting more but at the same time it has a beautiful finality that gives the cd the perfect ending....more info
- regina is a amazing.
i absolutely love this album. definitely not for everyone, but if you appreciate her offbeat style and lyrics, this is maybe her best album....more info
- Like Billy Joel, but cool. And sexy. And Russian.
This is a great album. Us (the song and the video) is simply stunning. There are some songs on the disc that don't work for me (Chemo Limo just doesn't float my boat) but they're not filler; they are just different from the songs on there I do really like. Us and Ode to Divorce are worth the price of admission all by themselves. Ms. Spektor's singing and piano work are head and shoulders above most popular musicians today....more info
- I really love this album.
I really love this album. I really do. That's all I can say because going into some spiel about how cool she sounds or how she's comparable to such-and-such would just mean that I'm making the reader of my review's decision for them. If you don't like it, you dont like it. But if you do, you do. :D
Haha, people disagree with me? If you like it, you like it. If you don't, you don't. Did I stutter?...more info
- Brilliant Kitsch
Before I begin rattling off my praises, it should first be said that I tend to dislike any artist that falls anywhere near the perimeters of "folky-female-singer-songwriter". If I'm feeling sensitive, I'm more inclined to listen to Husker Du than, say, Nelly Furtado. So, one can imagine my surprise when I first heard this cd, and was nearly induced to tears.
No sappy sentiment or angsty cliches here, just beautiful, whimsical, bare-bones piano melodies accompanied by strings and Regina's childlike howls. Her voice is captivating from the get-go, and her lyrics are cheeky and clever. Every single song is a trip back to your childhood on the day you discovered music. ...more info
- Regina is the best!
I first heard Regina Spektor a few months ago while I was browsing through the iTunes music video section. I came across the "Us" video. I dug the song and checked out her Soviet Kitsch album. I dug every song on the album - something I've not done in a while. It's so full of life and talent. I bought the album there. Then I checked out her 11:11 album. Dug every song on that album too. Bought that one on the spot as well. I've never come across ANY artist that I've enjoyed EVERY song on EVERY album. Not even the Beatles. I did want the "Us" video - so I bought the physical CD/DVD from Amazon. I also found her "Songs" and "Live at Bullmoose" excellent as well. You can hunt down some of her bootlegs online, too. I am going to watch out if/when she comes into town. Regina is awesome. Support talented artists!...more info
- Good Service
The Item was in perfecto condition....I ordered it to mail in 1 day...came in in two days....but awesome service..THANK YOU...more info
- Great CD
This is a grat CD for New or existing Regina Spektor fans, the only thing I do recomend that you check is if the cd come in a cd case, or one of those flimsy cardboard sleves, it may or may not cost you more, but if you are an avid CD colector such as myself, I sujest taking the time to make that specification....more info
- I love this album so much
I love this album, and I just love Regina. She is unbelievably creative and... this is easily the most truly creative album I've listened to in a while. It's gorgeous. Definitely on my list of albums everyone should hear at least once. ...more info
- Love Song for a Pizzaterian
This is one of my favorite albums all year, and there's a great mix of music here...from the sad "Ode to Divorce" and "Chemo Limo" to the trashy fun of "Your Honor", I love it all. It's strange music, and definitely not for everyone, but for those of us who love a little manic craziness in our music, it's perfect. Can't wait to hear more from Regina!...more info
- Talented Girl plays piano and sings.
This album is oddly titled, as it has less to do with being Soviet and more to do with being an unhappy girl. I key-in on that unhappiness - because that is what makes blues work - and that is what makes this album work. She should, and did, leave the cursing out of the next album. It is not necessary to the lyrics and seems like filler material.
I'd like to see her do an all punk album and explore that.
- Respekt Her
I love Regina Spektor. Her more popular album is the more recent Begin to Hope, but Soviet Kitsch is equal in quality, however I believe it is a little more abstract and random with less synthesized beats. Regina is uniquely her own. It would be lazy to compare her to Tori Amos or Bjork. Okay so Tori and Regina both have pianos and are female. Regina's songs are uncomplicated musically and have a wry humor or wit in songs such as Ghost of a Corporate Future. Her lyrics are out there, but not so filled with metaphor and hidden meanings like Tori. She writes humorous, fun, witty and wisdom filled songs. ...more info
- Better than a Cold War
This is wonderful. "Us" is a perfect song. One that you hear 20 years later and realize that it is a classic. But there are other great songs too. "Ghost of Corporate Futures" and "Poor little rich Boy" are my favorites.
She captures something real in "Carbon Monoxide" and "Chemo Limo". Buy everything you can find from Regina....more info
- This album fits into the great music category
I'll start off by saying that her different vocal styles remind me of Fiona Apple, Nelly Furtado, and Esthero. Having said that, I'll say this. Her music is its own entity. She is very playful, creative, and almost child-like in the way she delivers her vocals. This is an album I can listen to over and over. I even find myself humming a song or hearing a song in my head at any given moment during the day. If you like, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Nelly Furtado, Esthero, Bjork, or any similar artists, I would definitely recommend this album. If you don't like those artists, I would still recommend this album. Its one of my favorites....more info
- Soviet Kitsch
I'd heard an interview with Regina and it was promoting her new album. Sounded good and when I went to order it was offered Soviet Kitsch as an add-on. Thought "why not?" I wish I hadn't. It's awful. And factor in that it cost more than the new one and doesn't even come in a jewel case. What a disappointment.
- a little disappointing
"Us" is a phenomenal song. The muse was with her when she wrote that one. The rest of the album is just okay. I'd buy this CD again, if only for "Us" and the included DVD....more info
- Brilliant artist, beautiful voice, and a pizzatarian
I was just so darn enamored with "begin to hope" (her latest recording as of this review) that I was able to overcome my horror at the cover art of "Soviet Kitsch" to purchase it anyway (the Russian folk art is fine; but the "wife-beater" tee, the hat, and the bottle? Come on, Regina!). I am so thankful I did. It turns out that "begin to hope" is not her first homerun. What a brilliant artist!
"Soviet Kitsch" is less produced or polished than b2h. That only adds to its charm (and it does not sound bad, mind you). Her voice and piano are featured with occasional additional accompaniment (a whole punk band on track 8). Her songs are so quirky and creative.
Her voice ranges from sweet to sultry to sassy. With frequent modulations in pitch, volume, and tempo it becomes an instrument (like her piano... and "stick" - track 2). I don't know the technical definition of "beat box," but I'd swear she does something that qualifies on track 10 (just before enunciating and emphasizing the word "style" in every way imaginable). I can't think of anyone else who could present the word "contagious" with such vocal acrobatics (track 5). I could melt hearing her sing, "Come on, daddy" (track 3) in varying tones. I could listen to its repetition for the duration of the entire album. Who else could I say that about? Every turn of phrase is entertaining, meaningful.
Her music is so vivid and varied you are transported from a Russian or Jewish dance (end of track 4) to a sailor's tavern (track 6 - I imagine her as the Piano Woman to Billy Joel's Piano Man). There are beautiful ballads (track 11) and even a punk rock song (track 8) - which, by the way, features the most unique rendering of "Mary Had a Little Lamb" since Korn's "Shoots and Ladders."
I imagine she must have a certain conceit or be somewhat self-absorbed. That's not an insult. I can't fathom her bravado in presenting herself in such a fashion deriving from anything else. She must really get a kick out of herself. Take for example track 7. Not a song at all but rather recorded whisperings about getting on with the next song, the one that goes, "da, na, na, na..." As another example, she first claims to be a "vegetarian" who has only a pizza pie for a black eye (no raw meat), but she next turns the phrase to "pizzatarian" (track 8). We are given her rather unique artistic vision and we can do with it what we want. I suspect there are those that would be less than amused or entertained. I, on the other hand, eat it up.
This may sound ridiculous; but whereas most compare Regina to female folk vocalists, I am most reminded of the White Stripes when listening to her... so many varying styles, a stripped down and raw sound, real emotion, artistic and quirky delivery. These are hallmarks of a true craftswoman, a true artist. In this regard, I hope she never changes.
If you enjoy a female vocalist over piano accompaniment, and creativity is a plus, give this a try....more info
- First Corporate release from an Indie Genius
I think that Regina Spektor is, bar none, the most fascinating new artist on the indie scene. Despite all the comparisons to this or that other chick singer-songwriter (and the comparison with Bjork is probably the only one that seems remotely apt to me), she is truly unique (which is very rare) and probably not for everybody.
Her songs are like art songs, often sung in a fictional third-person voice which changes from song to song. Ms. Spektor is a first-rate pianist and has a classical background which underlies her aesthetic, but there is really no formula here as she just appears to be prodigiously creative. There is structure and there is anarchy; there is honest emotion and there is sarcasm and goofiness. Overall she has a spontaneity as a songwriter which takes the material wherever it needs to go, with seemingly no "masterpiece complex" to polish all the edges
The album which best captures the integrity and range of her gifts is easily SONGS, her second self-released CD. I'd readily give SONGS six stars on the scale of 5 here, and one must hear that one to really get a true comprehensive idea of who she really is. But SOVIET KITSCH has much to recommend it, and if not exactly wholly representative, still has enough range and quirkiness to introduce her to people, and some production values (especially the strings) which occasionally enhance material that "in real life" she usually just sings at the piano.
From what I've heard of the material for next year's release, it will probably be even better than this one, and by a large margin, despite how fascinating this one is. She just keeps getting better and better and doesn't appear to be selling out in any way due to the record contract. There's very little conventionally commercial about her at all. It's her uniqueness which is the draw, and there are probably at least as many people who will scratch their heads and not get it. But this is a uniquely talented and brilliant young woman, and if she speaks to you it seems unlikely that she's going to let you down any time soon.
This album is a significant signpost in an unusual career which is really beginning to take off. But it's not an "idealized" complicated production, it's just a slightly more elaborate document of the tumultuous fountain of songs that is Regina Spektor. Get on the bandwagon and join in her music, because it's like nothing else out there....more info
- Regina is unique and awesome, but this isn't really Regina
Regina Spektor is definitely something new. She has developed a unique voice using her well-crafted, charming, narrative lyrics, her insanely versitle voice, and rhythmic (as opposed to melodic) piano accompaniment.
Soviet Kitsch is her only album that has been released on a major label, though she has two older albums, 11:11 and Songs (neither of which dear Amazon has). The production value is what makes Soviet Kitsch stand out like a sore thumb compared to her earlier work and any of her many live performances. It seems like they were trying as hard as they could to make this quirky artist appeal to the MTV crowd. It's pretty evident in the video for "Us," with the same stop-motion animation from the Modest Mouse and Franz Ferdinand videos, only in much smaller quanity (perhaps from a smaller budget). I think the reason this album comes off so strange is trying to produce an artist to appeal to a different audience than she should.
That said, there are some powerful songs on this album that will last a million listens.
Everyone's initial favorite, Poor Little Rich Boy, showcases Regina's one-girl-show strengths, as she pounds out piano chords while making a beat with a single drum stick. "You're reading Fitzgerald, you're reading Hemingway. They're both supersmart and drinking in the cafes."
The frantic piano and soaring vocals of The Flowers draws you in and keeps you on the edge. Her Russian-Jewish heritage comes out here in a moment of homage. "The flowers you gave me are rotting and still I refuse to throw them away."
Your Honor is a perhaps misguided attempt to see how Regina would sound with a band, as well as a way to show her punk roots. Just focus on the lyrics. "Gargle with peroxide, a steak for your eye, but I'm a vegetarian so it's a frozen pizza pie."
Ghost of Corporate Future is very typical Regina: a little awkward, almost subversive, simple-but-effective piano, atypical but cohesive song structure. "Well maybe you should just drink a lot less coffee and never ever watch the 10-o-clock news. Maybe you should kiss someone nice or lick a rock or both."
When I first heard Chemo Limo, I couldn't stop listening to it. I've never had a song hit me so hard even though it's from a perspective I couldn't even imagine. Regina gets into the soul and being of the subject without being obvious or even really linear. This also has the only straight-up Regina rapping on the album. "I had a dream--crispy, crispy Benjamin Franklin came over and babysat all four of my kids.
If you're interested in Regina Spektor, please do not start with Soviet Kitsch. Go on iTunes and get 11:11 if you like jazzier vocals, and Songs if you like introspective, narrative song-writing, and look for bootlegs if you're really interested (they're not very hard to find online). Or go to a show and pay attention. The best way to experience Regina is live and messy, not polished and before the Strokes video comes on MTV....more info
- definitely wort buying
Thank god for tori amos... otherwise we would not have those wacky offbeat artists like REGINA SPEKTOR. the album is good worth buying. Us is her best song on the album. Give it try buy it used in case you hate it you did not lose that much money....more info
Ok, I discovered Regina a couple months ago, when I heard fidelity on alt nation (sirius radio), I went to youtube to see her and immediately bought "begin to hope", which I think is an amazing album. Now I'm discovering her previous work, and it is even more impressive! Don't get me wrong, begin to hope is good, but her style is so heteroclitical (nothing like the crap you hear on the radio over and over again) that you need to get the other albums if you really want to understand her and her style.
Quirky, melodic, different, refreshing, beautiful, dramatic, lyrical, those are the words that come to my mind when I hear this album. Go Regina!...more info
- Good, but not up to snuff
A good piece of work by an exceptional artist. However, it falls far short of her subsequent album: Begin To Hope, which is an extraordinary listening experience. Regina Spektor's art will continue to grow. It cannot but do so....more info
- A strange one..but a good one
This is a very strange album..but both technically and musically its a 10!!!...Her voice is reminicscent(sp) of Laura Nyro..meaning vocally and as a composer she overall is highly talented. If you are looking for somthing new and different..this is the one!!!!!...more info
- Good one but not the best
We all know how great Regina is. However this is not my favorite cd. Her style has always been weird but the songs are not that great... my personal opinion, not like Apr¨¦s moi, on the radio, Samson, and all others included in that cd, those are really really great. Anyway it's a most for anyone regarding himself as a fan, so I'm keeping it....more info
- i heart regina
while i will admit that regina spektor isn't for every one, i don't see how any one can deny her talent. this is quite simply one of the best albums i've ever purchased.