Far (album)

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Far
Studio album by Regina Spektor
Released June 23, 2009
Genre Anti-folk, indie rock
Length 47:39
Label Sire
Producer Mike Elizondo, Jacknife Lee, Jeff Lynne, David Kahne, Regina Spektor
Regina Spektor chronology
Live in California 2006 EP
(2007)
Far
(2009)
Live in London
(2010)
Singles from Far
  1. "Laughing With"
    Released: May 18, 2009
  2. "Eet"
    Released: October 2009

Far is the fifth studio album by American alternative singer-songwriter Regina Spektor, released in Europe through Sire Records on June 22, 2009 and North America on June 23, 2009[1] The album's first single, "Laughing With", was uploaded to Spektor's MySpace page on May 8 and was released as a digital download on May 18 in the United States and parts of Europe, along with the b-side "Blue Lips". Two viral videos for "Dance Anthem of the 80s" and "Eet" were also released on Spektor's MySpace account.[2] The official music video for "Laughing With" was released on iTunes on May 26, 2009. A special edition of the album was released with two bonus tracks and a DVD, which included four music videos.

Spektor decided to work with multiple producers on the album. She has compared composing an album to taking a class, and as such, she wanted to have "multiple professors".[3] She also felt the multiple producers would allow them not to worry what the single or big hit would be. The most notable producers include David Kahne, who produced her last album Begin to Hope, and Jeff Lynne, former member of Electric Light Orchestra and The Traveling Wilburys. Although Lynne has an expansive musical background, Spektor did not know of his work when she originally met him.[4]

"Regina's songs are like literature," said Lynne, who doesn't usually work with new artists, but said that Spektor's demo tapes blew him away. "It hits you right in the face how brilliant it is," he said. Lynne produced four songs for the album.[5]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Regina Spektor

No. Title Producer(s) Length
1. "The Calculation"   Mike Elizondo 3:11
2. "Eet"   Mike Elizondo 3:52
3. "Blue Lips"   Jeff Lynne 3:34
4. "Folding Chair"   Jeff Lynne 3:35
5. "Machine"   Mike Elizondo 3:55
6. "Laughing With"   Jacknife Lee 3:17
7. "Human of the Year"   David Kahne 4:07
8. "Two Birds"   Jacknife Lee 3:18
9. "Dance Anthem of the 80's"   Jacknife Lee 3:43
10. "Genius Next Door"   Jeff Lynne 5:06
11. "Wallet"   Jeff Lynne 2:28
12. "One More Time with Feeling"   David Kahne 3:59
13. "Man of a Thousand Faces"   Mike Elizondo 3:11

Reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 74%[6]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[7]
The A.V. Club (B+)[8]
Entertainment Weekly (B+)[9]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[10]
NME (6/10)[11]
Paste (49/100)[12]
Pitchfork Media (4.8/10)[13]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[14]
Spin 4/5 stars[15]
Robert Christgau (A-)[16]

Bevan of Spin said that Spektor, in "The Calculation", "purrs a scenario of love and hurt that plays out in the breakfast nook..."[17] Powers of the LA Times said of "Eet": "It's not just cute."[18] Maerz of EW praised the album's quirkiness. He said of "Folding Chair" that she "literally sings like a dolphin" and that "Wallet" is the "best song ever inspired by a Blockbuster card."[19] Dolan of Rolling Stone said that "Laughing With" is a song that "ends collapsing in an existential freakout over a soft beat and weeping cello."[20] MacKay of NME said "Human of the Year" has "a typically Spektorian conceit" and her "remarkable, gutsy voice vaults to the rafters of heartbreak."[21] Skinner of Insounds called "Genius Next Door" a "spiralling Gothic narrative that comes on with all the otherworldly beauty of a Haruki Murakami story." The album does not aim "at ideas above its station" nor does it "flounder in search of unity."[22] Regarding "Man of a Thousand Faces", Neibaur of Frequency said that the "pathos of the lyrics is still strong enough to make the Incredible Hulk tear up a bit".[23]

Blacklow of Access Hollywood called the album a "wonderful soothing summer sound".[24] Lewis of the Cord Weekly said "Spektor delivers gloomy tales of turmoil, complemented by slow, haunting piano notes that could just as easily accompany a horror film."[25] Snyder of the New Haven Advocate said that, overall, Spektor has "redirected some of that freaky stuff, tweaked and perfected it, to a new place where it fits better" and that the songs are "sometimes kind of serious."[26] Neibaur of Frequency states that "Far pleases every auditory appetite."[23]

Far scored 74 on Metacritic, which signifies "generally favorable reviews".[27]

According to Neibaur, "The stark contradictions of critics relating to Spektor exemplify a larger problem in modern music criticism—very few writers truly analyze music from an artistic perspective any longer."[23] In a June 24, 2009 interview, Spektor remarked that: "I mean, in this book, it's music criticism from the 19th century, and they're ripping Tchaikovsky a new asshole, but the thing that really gets me is that it's written so beautifully. It's nasty reviews in beautiful language, and that's what I want," she says. "My dad will forward me some of the stuff people write about me, and I think it's all bullshit. It's all, 'Oh, this sucks, that sucks, blah.' I don't want that. I want you to write poetically about how bad I suck." [28]

Music videos[edit]

Four music videos have been released and can be viewed on her MySpace. These videos, all directed by Tom Petty's daughter Adria Petty, are also available on a bonus DVD included with the deluxe version of the album.

  • "Laughing With"[29]
  • "Eet"[30]
  • "Dance Anthem of the '80s"[31]
  • "Man of a Thousand Faces"[32]

Chart performance[edit]

Far entered the official UK Albums Chart at number 30[33] It also sold 50,000 copies in its first week, entering the US Billboard 200 number three. In the Canadian Albums Chart, Far debuted at number 16. The album has spent nineteen weeks on the Billboard 200.[34]

Chart Peak
position
Australian ARIA Album Chart[35] 10
Austrian Album Chart[36] 41
Belgium Album Chart (Flanders)[37] 37
Canadian Albums Chart[38] 16
European Top 100[39] 82
French Album Chart[40] 99
Irish Album Chart[41] 24
New Zealand Album Chart[42] 38
Swedish Album Chart 8
Swiss Album Chart[43] 53
Billboard 200[44] 3
Billboard Top Digital Albums 5
Billboard Top Internet Albums 3
Billboard Top Modern Rock/Alternative Albums 24
Billboard Top Rock Albums 36
UK Albums Chart[45] 30

Credits[edit]

Art Direction – Adria Petty, Jeri Heiden
Co-producer – Regina Spektor (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 7, 12 to 14)
Design, Photography By [Additional] – Jeri Heiden
Edited By, Engineer [Additional] – Sam Bell (tracks: 6, 8, 9)
Engineer – Adam Hawkins (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 13, 14), Beck Henderer-Peña* (tracks: 9), David Kahne (tracks: 7), Marc Mann (tracks: 3, 4, 10, 11, 15), Steve Jay (tracks: 3, 4, 10, 11, 15), Tom McFall (tracks: 6, 8, 9)
Engineer [Assistant] – Brent Arrowood (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 13, 14)
Engineer, Programmed By – David Kahne (tracks: 12)
Executive-Producer – Tom Whalley
Illustration – Brendon T. Sharkey
Management – Ron Shapiro
Mastered By – Bob Ludwig
Mixed By – Adam Hawkins (tracks: 13), David Kahne (tracks: 12), David Kahne (tracks: 7), Jacknife Lee (tracks: 9), Marc Mann (tracks: 3, 4, 10, 11, 15), Michael H. Brauer (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 6, 8), Steve Jay (tracks: 3, 4, 10, 11, 15)
Mixed By [Assistant], Engineer [Pro-tools] – Ryan Gilligan (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 6, 8), Will Hensley (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 6, 8)
Photography By – Adria Petty
Producer – David Kahne (tracks: 7, 12), Jacknife Lee (tracks: 6, 8, 9), Jeff Lynne (tracks: 3, 4, 10, 11, 15), Mike Elizondo (tracks: 1, 2, 5, 13, 14)
Programmed By – David Kahne (tracks: 7)
Written-By – Regina Spektor [46]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Regina Spektor Announces New Album, Far". April 13, 2009. 
  2. ^ "Dance Anthem of the 80s Video on MySpace". May 8, 2009. 
  3. ^ "Performance Wrap-Up: Regina Spektor Live At WERS". September 24, 2009. 
  4. ^ "Pitchfork: Regina Spektor Spills About New Album". March 16, 2009. 
  5. ^ Rolling Stone magazine issue 1082/1083, July 9–23, 2009. "New York's Screwball Pop Queen" by Jenny Eliscu.
  6. ^ "Far". Metacritic. Retrieved 2010-03-14. 
  7. ^ Phares, Heather (2009-06-23). "((( Far > Overview )))". allmusic. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  8. ^ Phipps, Keith. "Regina Spektor: Far | Music | Review". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  9. ^ Reviewed by Melissa Maerz (2009-06-17). "Far | Music". EW.com. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  10. ^ Caroline Sullivan (2009-06-19). "Review: Regina Spektor, Far | Music". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  11. ^ "Regina Spektor - Album review: Regina Spektor - 'Far' - Album Reviews". Nme.Com. 2009-06-23. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  12. ^ "Regina Spektor: Far :: Music :: Reviews :: Paste". Pastemagazine.com. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  13. ^ "Album Reviews: Regina Spektor: Far". Pitchfork. 2009-06-23. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  14. ^ "Far : Regina Spektor : Review". Rolling Stone. 2009-06-22. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  15. ^ "Regina Spektor, 'Far' (Sire) | Spin Magazine Online". Spin.com. Retrieved 2010-03-03. 
  16. ^ Christgau, Robert (August 2009). "Reviews: Regina Spektor". Robert Chrisgau. Retrieved 2011-02-21. 
  17. ^ "''Retrieved 18-07-2009''". Spin.com. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  18. ^ "''Retrieved 18-11-2009''". Latimesblogs.latimes.com. 2009-06-22. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  19. ^ Maerz, Melissa (2009-06-17). "''Retrieved 18-11-2009''". Ew.com. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  20. ^ "''Retrieved 18-11-2009''". Rollingstone.com. 2009-06-22. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  21. ^ "''Retrieved 18-07-2009''". Nme.com. 2009-06-23. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  22. ^ Skinner, James (2009-06-23). "''Retrieved 18-11-2009''". Drownedinsound.com. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  23. ^ a b c About the Author (2008-08-25). "''Retrieved 01-08-2009''". Frequencymagazine.net. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  24. ^ Blacklow, Jeremy (2009-06-28). "''Retrieved 18-11-2009''". Accesshollywood.com. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  25. ^ Retrieved 18-07-2009[dead link]
  26. ^ Dan Barry (2009-06-23). "''Retrieved 18-07-2009''". Newhavenadvocate.com. Retrieved 2009-10-10. [dead link]
  27. ^ "''Retrieved 18-07-2009''". Metacritic.com. 2009-06-23. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  28. ^ Montgomery, James (2009-06-24). "''Retrieved 18-11-2009''". Mtv.com. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  29. ^ "Video Laughing With van regina spektor - MySpace Video". Vids.myspace.com. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  30. ^ "Video Eet van regina spektor - MySpace Video". Vids.myspace.com. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  31. ^ "Video Dance Anthem of the 80s van regina spektor - MySpace Video". Vids.myspace.com. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  32. ^ "Video Man of a Thousand Faces van regina spektor - MySpace Video". Vids.myspace.com. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  33. ^ . June 29, 2009 UK Album Chart http://uk.launch.yahoo.com/c/uk/album_charts.html, UK Album Chart.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  34. ^ [1]
  35. ^ "Australian Record Industry Association". Ariacharts.com.au. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  36. ^ "oe3.ORF.at / Woche 27 / 2009". Charts.orf.at. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  37. ^ "Ultratop Belgian Charts". ultratop.be. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  38. ^ "CANOE - JAM! Music SoundScan Charts". Jam.canoe.ca. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  39. ^ [2][dead link]
  40. ^ "Disque en France". Disque en France. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  41. ^ ">> IRMA << Irish Charts - Singles, Albums & Compilations >>". Irma.ie. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  42. ^ "RIANZ". RIANZ. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  43. ^ Steffen Hung (2009-07-19). "Regina Spektor - Far". swisscharts.com. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  44. ^ Kaufman, Gil (2009-07-01). "Black Eyed Peas Top Non-Jackson Album Sales On Billboard - News Story | Music, Celebrity, Artist News | MTV News". Mtv.com. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  45. ^ "UK Music Charts | The Official UK Top 75 Albums: Week of Mon 05 Oct - Yahoo! Music UK". Uk.launch.yahoo.com. Retrieved 2009-10-10. 
  46. ^ Regina Spektor – Far

External links[edit]