Album of the Week: Regina Spektor, 'Remember Us To Life'

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Regina Spektor, 'Remember Us To Life'
Regina Spektor, 'Remember Us To Life' (Warner Bros. Records)

Regina Spektor's Remember Us To Life is the seventh studio album from the classically trained pianist who has slowly evolved as an artist as the popularity of indie singer-songwriters has waned in the past decade in favor of pop music. Spektor took four years between albums before delivering 11 new songs produced by lesser-known English composer Leo Abrahams, who has worked with David Byrne and Brian Eno. The break from releasing albums wasn't for lack of output. Spektor penned and recorded the theme for the Netflix series Orange Is The New Black, which was likely more lucrative than investing in writing an album. Nonetheless, Spektor returns with a collection of songs that stays true to her artistic vision while subtly experimenting with arrangements and instrumentation in the process.

The album's lead single, "Bleeding Heart," has all the characteristics of a Regina Spektor song, arranged and mixed to mimic the sound that her fans have come to expect. Although the song could have a political connotation during an election year, in an interview with The Current, Spektor dispelled any political undertones present on Remember Us To Life. As an artist, she has been mostly apolitical since making reference to her Russian roots in the title of her major-label debut.

The subtle experimentation is heard on songs like "Small Bill$," with its sample-based arrangement and odd time signature. It's not the high-water mark of Spektor's songwriting, but it's intriguing to hear her push outside her comfort zone. Abrahams brought a sample-based songwriting approach to the new album, taking the opportunity to combine the traditional sounds Spektor has used but putting them through a new lens. The sampling isn't obvious on first listen but is part of the DNA of Remember Us To Life. Abrahams seems to have made his mark on the album without fundamentally changing Spektor's signature sound.

Regina Spektor's Remember Us To Life is out now on Warner Brothers records.

Resources


Regina Spektor - official site

Regina Spektor, Remember Us To Life (Amazon, CD)

Regina Spektor, Remember Us To Life (Amazon, Vinyl)

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  • Regina Spektor embarks on a new adventure with 'Remember Us to Life' Following the release of her seventh studio album, Regina Spektor sat down to chat with 'New Hot' host David Safar to talk about 'Remember Us to Life,' working with producer Leo Abrahams and recording at the Village in Los Angeles.
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