Music Monday #2: Far

Hello everyone! I’m Abby, and I love indie, rock, and pop music! I tried to do this series every Monday, but because of the approval process for Starboard, I realize now that I should just post whenever I want, especially with AP tests on the horizon. This week I’ll be speaking about Far by singer-songwriter Regina Spektor. This album was published in 2009 and I grew up listening to this album. Its light vocals and piano-guided songs are nice to jam to, and Regina’s incredible lyricism about modern life is touching and what truly makes the album stand out.



“The Calculation”:

The first song on the album presents love in a formulaic, quantitative sense. The piano and drum background matches this with a punchy piano line accompanying Regina’s vocals. I like this song a lot, but it definitely isn’t one of my favorites on the album.


“Eet”:

This song describes nostalgia for a certain thing by starting off with comparing it to forgetting the words to your favorite song. Throughout this song, Regina sings passionately. This, along with the chorus of “eets” throughout the song make it extremely catchy and hard to get out of your head.


“Blue Lips”:

This is definitely one of the more solemn tunes on the album. It was my favorite song as a kid, but to be honest, I don’t think I understood what it was about at all. This song describes criticisms of religion and modern industrial society and how it almost enslaves common people, keeping the wealthy and higher-ups in power. I really do like this song a lot!


“Folding Chair”:

I do like this song- it’s pretty good! To be honest though, it’s quite forgettable compared to other songs on this album. The only part of this song that sticks out is when she imitates a dolphin in a chorus of “ooo”s.


“Machine”:

This song is great! I remember distinctly disliking this song as a kid, but I enjoy it now. It is about how society almost functions as a machine, with similar ideas and lives. I like the verses of this song the most, and I recommend giving this song a listen!


“Laughing With”:

This song KILLS me inside. It’s about how no one laughs at God when a bad event happens, but God can still be funny “at a cocktail party when listening to a good God-themed joke.” The tension and release in this song between not laughing and laughing at God is amazing, and makes the song amazing to listen to. The song also ends with “No one’s laughing at God; we’re all laughing with God”, hence the name of the song.


“Human of the Year”:

This song is another one I really like. It’s about a fictional character who goes into a cathedral and wins the award of Human of the Year. I like the instrumentation in this song, and even if you don’t listen to this album, you should definitely give this song a listen.


“Two Birds”:

This was my favorite song as a kid. Most believe it uses two birds sitting on a wire as a representation of the tension between the dreamy and cautious parts of your mind. There are a lot of other interpretations of this song as well. This song is upbeat, and the punchy piano in the background sets a great tone for the lyrics of the song.


“Dance Anthem of the 80’s”:

I did not care for this song when I was a kid, and I still don’t care for it now. The lyrics and the instrumentation are both extremely simple, and although this song is upbeat and fun, unlike other songs on this album, it bores me.


“Genius Next Door”:

Regina’s belting on this song is nice, and I like the repeated piano part in the background. This song is about a local man drowning himself in the lake, and the town’s reaction to it. I think this song has the best lyrics on the album, and the instrumentation captures the somberness of the community around the death.


“Wallet”:

This wholesome break in the album is cute and nice. It is about a person finding a random wallet and thinking about it. I like this song, but again, it is a bit forgettable.


“One More Time with Feeling”:

This song is groovy! The chorus of this song is my favorite on the album, with Regina’s ascending and descending vocals. The narrator of this song tells the person undergoing a medical procedure, to feel and be happy, no matter the physical pain they’re feeling.

“Man of a Thousand Faces”:

This song speaks about trying to appeal to everyone, and only finding relief through psychedelic drugs (“a small lump of sugar”) while reflecting on the past when he used to go to bookstores and be able to sleep (“the moon to him was a stranger”). But now, while taking this drug, he “begins his quiet ascension” and “smiles at the moon like he knows her.” The lyrics of this song really hit me hard, and I can really feel the pain of the man in the song through Regina’s lyricism and instrumentation.


All in all, I’d say that in terms of lyricism, this album is a 10. My only wish is that the instrumentation was a bit more varied throughout the album, and for that reason, along with the few forgettable songs, I’d give this album an 8 out of 10. I highly recommend listening to this if you enjoy passionate singing with piano backing!


See you next time,

Abby


P.S. If you have any ideas for an album I should review next, please email me at nibauera22@kentplace.org! For reference, some of my top artists of the past six months are Phoebe Bridgers, Mitski, Father John Misty, Lana Del Rey, Mild High Club, Frank Ocean, Car Seat Headrest, Kendrick Lamar, and 100 gecs, but I am really open to reviewing any genre of music, besides metal because it usually gives me a headache :(


Stream Far:

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/5t0lQDPLF22wmWCtSZkIVv?si=Mx0cK1_tTZeHM1xyplAiWw

Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/album/far/319401296


Sources:

https://genius.com/albums/Regina-spektor/Far