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Originally posted by Be like the water, people.:

^^Oh, i really like that one!

Do you know where it's from?

I went to look where I found it but it didn't say :/

Originally posted by lennonist:

I think this has all of them:

The celebrity photographer, A.J. Sokalner, apparently died Nov 3, 2009 on the red carpet while awaiting the arrival of Lady Gaga.

Those are all incredible.

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^It's an old article and a review of Begin to Hope. Sorry for any mistakes my laziness doesn't allow me to proof-read Cool

A girl inspired by Kundera

New York based singer-songwriter Regina Spektor mixes chansons with rock and classical music, with this cocktail she gains more and more fans

The 26-years old singer Regina Spektor, who comes from Russia but lives in New York came to the world's attention only with her fifth album "Begin To Hope." It seems that she also has the needed luck. The world took interest in her work and there even is a Czech fan web page dedicated to her.

Talented but out of money

Regina played the piano since the age of six. After all, she had it in the family: her mother was a teacher at Moscow conservatory. The father, a photographer, played the violin in his free time. In 1989 the Jewish family decided to leave the former Soviet Union. It wasn't easy in the former totalitarian country but luckily the social reforms mady by the communist leader Michail Gorbacov advanced the country. The family briefly stayed in Europe until finally settled in Bronx. They found their real home amongst the local jewish community.

To develop her talent, Regina SPektor couldn't find a better place, after all the likes of Suzanne Vega, Paul Simon or Patti Smith are all from New York. The lalented pianist, songwriter and singer didn't have enough money to extend her musical education. She got noticed by Sonia Vargas from Manhattan art school who gave Regina piano lessons. Regina could finally develop her musical education at a conservatory.

Her first concerts took place in New York in 2001 when she also realesed her first album 11:11 but she received more attention after the realease of her third album Soviet Kitsch and its cover art. On the cover photo Regina poses with a Russian army cap on and drinks vodka from the bottle. But Regina's songs are not that brutally straightforward. They are a mix of Russia and USA, chanson, rock and classical music. The interesting fact is that the name Soviet Kitsch is taken from Milan Kundera's book "The unbearable lightness of being."

Side by side with The Strokes

Regina's magic influenced another New York based band, the Strokes who took their friend with them on tour. The Singer, Julian Casablancas even sang a duet with her that appeared on the Reptilia single. Finally rumours or maybe recommendations work its magic. Even the people from Warner Music were so impressed with the songs on Begin to Hope that they advertised Regina everywhere and even affectional e-mails were sent. The rest is on the listeners. The reactions and reviews give evidence that Regina Spektor is not a one hit wonder.


Between Russia and New York, there is only one Regina Spektor

Eastern or Jewish roots are in the blood of Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and Paul Simon. Comparing Regina Spektor to them would be too bold at this time but the Eastern influence on American music is worth at least mentioning.

Regina Spektor is a singer/songwriter. The keys of her piano produce magical melodies of bauty that is also able to be modest, humble and playful - for example in "On the Radio." For effect regina doesn't need the polished flat sound of instruments or ambitious sparks. Her songs offer homely almost handmade style, playfulness and a huge range of imagination.

The thrill is made by few chords and similarly to Bjork by sounds from somewhere like Russian folklore or New York jazz club - listen to for example "Field Below." Also another comparison can by made with a pianist and expressive singer Tori Amos in another moment similarity with Laurie Anderson can be heard, but these paralels are not precise.

Regina Spektor elude usual forms. With the changing of the voice during the songs and how she is able to express emotion she is anything but usual. Without problems she changes the arrangement a she often surprises the listener for example when she suddenly interlay "Apres Moi" with the strings and smoothly goes from English to Russian. And like that wasn't enough she suddenly drags the song through cabaretm rock or classical concerto hall.

Every one of her songs is sliped into the music pie from a diffent angle. "That Time" is even a pleasant and smooth collision of punk and classical music, even rhythm and blues is present. Of course the streets of New York are full of similar "omnivores" but there is only one Regina Spektor, who creates a tight and clear form from her flavour and spark. A global chanson singer? - Maybe. Let's look forward to the next album.


Singing 70%

Arrangement 90%

Overall 80%

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