With a strange beauty to her lyrical expressions and a voice that mimics percussive instruments, Regina Spektor is certainly a refreshing sound to emerge from the music scene. “Begin to Hope” is her first major label release after three independent releases and, impressively, Spektor has remained true to herself and true to her art.

Born into a musical family, Spektor, a Russian Jew, attended the Conservatory of Music at Purchase College in Purchase, N.Y. and grew up in the Bronx.

If you haven’t heard of Regina Spektor yet, you may recognize her songs that have been featured in episodes of ABC’s popular show, “Grey’s Anatomy,” such as “On the Radio” and her hit single, “Fidelity,” a nostalgic pictorial of learning to love.

The album “Begin to Hope” is an eccentric compilation of cleverly orchestrated music inspired by pop melodies, jazz tunes and shades of punk rock. Intertwined with dark stories, rebellious tendencies and surreal imagery, the album sheds light on Spektor’s diverse talents.

Her classically-trained piano playing is virtuosic and gorgeously provoking, while her lyrics reflect influences from literature, history and religion, particularly Biblical and Christian references.

Spektor’s music addresses unique narratives from a variety of literary and cultural references, which speak multitudes beyond the images she so lyrically paints. There is a depth in her music that is catchy yet still manages to fill the voids that bubble gum pop could never suffice.

“Samson” is her avant-garde version of his love for Delilah and his downfall. Spektor sings, “I cut his hair myself one night / A pair of dull scissors in the yellow light / And he told me that I’d done alright / And kissed me till the morning light,” depicting an almost blasphemous morale upon this biblical anecdote. Sacrilegious as it may be, it sheds light on the powerful human desire for love that is often forgotten in congruence with this story.

Several songs on her album suggest that the soundtrack was not made for the mainstream scene.

“Hotel Song” will probably never reach the charts for its particularly candid confessions about “A little bag of cocaine / A little bag of cocaine.”

“That Time” tells a story about “Remember that time you OD’ed/ Hey remember that other time when you OD’ed for a second time.” Luckily, Spektor has transcended the oddity of her lyrics and is managing to charm the oh-so-perfectly-crafted mainstream music scene.

One thing listeners may notice is the use of unorthodox vocalizations to embellish her sound. Her careful yet playful use of her lips and tongue to exaggerate noises places the audience in Spektor’s own imaginary playground.

United with her distinct piano ballads, her performance amounts to be purely human. Emotions ranging from the dark depths of drug addiction to humor in the travels through Europe manage to ground the listener-or bring you back to the front steps of your London flat amongst the air of uncertainty and excitement.

The nouveau and impressionist feel of the music brings the audience into a disenchantment of reality. The album insists to take you to a different place that Spektor has created for you to envision. As a burgeoning fan of Spektor, I would instinctively choose this soundtrack to accompany me in discovering narrow cobblestone alleyways of the Latin Quarter or “Amsterdam [where] I got quite crazy / might have been all the tulips and canals / or it might have been all that hash.”

Han is a member of the class of 2007.



UR Baseball beats Hamilton and RIT

Yellowjackets baseball beat Hamilton College on Tuesday and RIT on Friday to the scores of 11–4 and 7–4, respectively.

An open letter to all members of any university community

I strongly oppose the proposed divestment resolution. This resolution is nothing more than another ugly manifestation of antisemitism at the University.

Live updates: Wallis Hall sit-ins

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