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In the world of cinema, an indie director who can do something special for a small amount of money is sometimes given the key to a blockbuster series. This is an equivalent piece of music. New York pianist Regina Spektor began in the early 2000s writing solo piano songs that were distinctive enough to earn her concert support and a recorded duet. with The Strokes. Two decades on, her eighth album has more features in the mix. In particular, The Spacetime Fairy Tale is nearly nine minutes long, a baroque set featuring lavish orchestras, numerous changing devices, and a percussion dancer.

Despite the crowded list of credits, she’s recording alone in a renovated church in upstate New York, with only producer John Congleton and engineer Ariel Shafir for the company, so Covid be careful that she won’t be in the same room as them. The orchestra is recording in Macedonia. Some of the most powerful moments come from the contrast between her low and sad voice and the important gesture of the backdrop. Becoming All Alone builds into a huge, rich sound halfway through before everything disappears except Spektor and the piano. The ballad Raindrops sounds like her oldest material, touching in its comparable simplicity, and no wonder: it’s the first song recording she’s pocketed in years. his first day.

Loveology, another late space classic on an album, has many of the features that drew fans to her in the first place: it’s heart-stoppingly romantic, structured with lots of random left turns. surprise and have lyrics that sound either great or terrible depending on how happy you personally twee. A list of subjects will start with “Hedgehog science, science fiction” and go to “I’m sorry science, forgive me pseudoscience.”

Spektor performed a five-night stay on Broadway in 2019 and there’s something of a theatrical musical in her shifting style. She plays a sad guy desperate to find a girlfriend in One Man’s Prayer. Hamilton creator Lin-Manuel Miranda called her a genius on his Desert Island Disc. Here she has theatrical sound to suit the biggest spaces. Coins’ drums and strings to the choir sound really good.

The most divisive song is probably Up the Mountain, with its repetitive lines, nauseating strings, and dark urgency. It’s a bit odd, but we can be grateful that even as her budget grows, her imagination hasn’t waned for the mainstream.

(Warner)

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