Hi! I finally listened to "Far" yesterday and here's my review! I had only heard Eet, Folding Chair, Laughing With and Dance Anthem, and I had never had the pleasure of listening to the live recordings of the old songs.
1 - THE CALCULATION: This is supposed to be the "Fidelity" of the album: mainstream, lighthearted and fun. It's not as good as Fidelity, but it's really nice nonetheless, I really like it, and I think it's a great starter.
2 - EET: When I heard it for the first time with the video it gave me shivers. I burnt it into a CD as quickly as I could, played it in my bedroom, and danced and jumped to it until my bones ached. It just such an uplifting, happy, beautiful work of art that when I heard it I thought "Oh my God this is like SO IMPORTANT!". It reminds me of "Better" but THIS is better.
3 - BLUE LIPS: As I've said, I hadn't heard the live recordings. God this song is so GORGEOUS, it's magical. I mean, it's a little masterpiece.
And the lyrics are just perfect.
4 - FOLDING CHAIR: I LOVED the live recording, and I think this album version is worse. It's not really the production; it's Regina's performance I don't like. Anyway, the dolphin sounds are so cool! haha
5 - MACHINE: Just awesome. That feeling of impending doom that smells like Russia. It reminds me of that movie "Metropolis", and of all the Industrial Revolution in general. Just great.
6 - LAUGHING WITH: Loved it right from the start. The perfect pop ballad, it's beautiful and sweet and meaningful and it calms me down. Oh and my friends don't usually like Regina, but they all love this one!
7 - HUMAN OF THE YEAR: I like this, but I think it has to grow on me because apparently it's a big fan favourite and I still don't like it that much.
8 - TWO BIRDS: Ooooh lovely lovely lovely! So pretty! The "da da da da" part at the end reminds me of a French fairground for some reason. One of my favourites!
9 - DANCE ANTHEM OF THE 80s: Old Regina! Also one of my favourites! It's so fun but at the same time it has a sad edge. Love it. And the video is love.
10 - GENIUS NEXT DOOR: Incredibly beautiful. The story is amazing, and the music...wow. That East European feel again which I love so much. Perfect.
11 - THE WALLET: OK, don't kill me, as it will probably grow on me, but now I find this one PLAIN BORING.
12 - ONE MORE TIME WITH FEELING: Lovely too. It will also grow on me I think, but yeah, I like it.
13 - MAN OF A THOUSAND FACES: Just the perfect ending. It's like a lullaby. As I'm not native, I haven't understood all the lyrics yet, but it felt as if the man was ascending to the moon or something.
ON THE WHOLE, I think this album is a bit better than "Begin to Hope" and we see the old Reg in songs like "Dance Anthem", although it follows the poppy line of "Begin to Hope".
The main improvement for me is that this album feels more cohesive, unlike in "Begin to Hope" where a rock song would follow a piano ballad which would follow a jazzy one. It's just a matter of opinion, I like it when albums are cohesive. The production is ace, it hasn't bothered me at all, but then again, I was new to most of the songs. And finally, this album feels like those old-time classic records which will never fall into oblivion. It used to happen before, but nowadays I'm not so sure...Anyway, well done, Regina!