Regina Spektor - Live In London
Regina Spektor is pop music queen. Her voice shines through the absolute glut of pop-ladies-in-waiting like a beacon of hope for what could be. There is no metaphorical longing or thinly veiled euphemism at her piano; she says what she’s thinking. She says “fuck” and she means it; she talks about sex and cocaine and doesn’t pretend to be a virgin to sell records. Spektor is legit and Live in London is the proof.
The best thing about Spektor’s Live in London is that it feels like a greatest hits compilation. The production is clean and the recording sounds studio quality – unlike so many live albums that sound like they were picked up from the middle of the floor on someone’s iPhone. The one downfall to this slick recording is that most of the onstage banter has been stripped and it’s very likely that Spektor is a hilarious woman. Hearing what she had to say about her own songs could have been a nice bonus to this already stellar collection.
The hits are all here and we are reminded of why they became hits in the first place. ‘Fidelity’ stands up to the scrutiny of live performance and ‘On the Radio’ maintains every ounce of charm it had the first time it grabbed and tugged on our heartstrings. ‘Laughing With’ is a particular highlight. It aptly showcases Spektor’s acerbic and heartfelt emotional honesty. It cuts perfectly to the chase and still somehow reminds you of the beautiful delicacy of humanity – that sometimes all we can do is laugh in the face of all that haunts us and breaks our hearts.
Live In London may just be one of the most celebratory, joyful, jubilant records of 2010 and perhaps one of the most engaging live recordings of the past 10 years. Spektor has achieved what is not an easy feat: she writes sad songs with a big, hopeful and joyful heart and that joyful heart is what keeps us coming back again and again.
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