Regina Spektor

Begin To Hope

Moscow-born anti-folk songstress Regina Spektor displays her typical New York City joie de vivre on her new album, but it’s definitely more pop, less macabre. Previously, she explored a more traditional, classical realm with 11:11, got weird with Songs and got darker with Soviet Kitsch. On Begin to Hope her weirdly sweet style has morphed into a more mainstream sound, but it’s still distinctly Regina. She’s been known to sing while playing the piano with her left hand and tapping a drum stick on a chair with her right, and spontaneously beatbox, growl, whisper and wail. Spektor doesn’t disappoint with the vocal acrobatics here, either. “On the Radio” showcases her banshee-siren qualities in slightly morbid lyrics, “It feels a little worse / Than when we drove our hearse / Right through that screaming crowd,” to an upbeat tempo and a splash of electronica. And although the raw simplicity of previous albums is replaced by a more polished sound, it still retains enough of Spektor’s magic and is perhaps even more infectious.