Regina Spektor likes to feel better okay! It’s a recurrent theme in her work, and you can’t argue you with that. I mean really, who wants to feel worse – Messrs Morrissey, Cohen and Sylvian excepted of course.
In my last review of her single; Fidelity, I took a pretty miserable view of her inflections of the word better. And quite rightly so – why would a successful international artist want to imitate a chav?
Now she’s come out with a song actually called Better, and hey it’s pretty good.
I’ve compared Spektor to Suzanne Vega before and I’m afraid I haven’t changed my mind. Not that it’s a bad thing you understand. In fact it’s a compliment.
There was a stage in Vega’s career where she came out from behind the long blue jackets and starched long skirts. It was a glimpse of raunchiness brought on by industrial sounding drum machines, and a view of a sexier Suzanne than we’d seen before.
Honestly – the mussed dyed hair and pouting in the 99.9 Fahrenheit Degrees video will torment me until I die. But I will enjoy it.
But even then, I was subconsciously willing her to reveal more of this sultry side.
She never did.
And she never did return my calls, but that’s besides the point.
The point is Spektor’s produced a ‘nice’ record, with an edge to it that’s frankly pretty bloody good.
Opening with a good old fashioned pounding of the ivories, her voice quickly reigns everything into line and you’re suddenly listening to a quite remarkable songwriter.
Better is what is says on the tin – better than her last single.
If you didn’t get Tori Amos, but wanted something more challenging than Vega, Spektor’s your lady.
Personally I prefer the harder edged, constrained violence of a Kristeen Young track, but as new pop goes, Spektor will, I think, prove very hard to beat.