I’ve been listening to Regina Spektor for four or five years now and love her quirky, whimsical lyrics and her lovely piano work. Her new album, What We Saw from the Cheap Seats, is another wonderful addition to her oeuvre. Some of the songs on this album are a bit more mellow and serious than those included on her previous albums, but her signature oddity and ability to look at things from an unexpected perspective still appear in spades. I particularly enjoyed “All the Rowboats” in which the rowboats in museum paintings are trying to row away. “Violins in glass coffins” and “Masterpieces serving maximum sentences” fill museums and galleries. Her frustration with politicians (one I think we all share, no matter which side of the aisle) can be heard in “Ballad of a Politician.”
None of the songs on What We Saw from the Cheap Seats are “throw away” songs, in each song Spektor’s beautiful voice and piano playing and interesting use of percussion and changes in tempo hold interest and bring the album together as a whole.