Regina Spektor
Soviet Kitsch

Reviewed by: Justin Cober-Lake
Reviewed on: 2005-03-29

Posted 04/02/2005 - 07:45:47 PM by dawson865:
 Ok.... ok....ok. Where do I start with your "review"? Well probably with the fact that I am not too familiar with your stylus magazine, I am not sure if you are attempting actual journalism, or if you are simply venting your thoughts un-cohesively. You have so many facts wrong, please bear with me as I correct your review. Firstly Regina’s music is not at all about "killing herself and people dying and all this sad stuff" Soviet Kitsch may be pensive and even a little dark at times, however Regina has many songs that are of brighter times. Just one of note is "Folding Chair" - a happy upbeat celebration of summer. As to your point of not caring about her piano skills - that is your problem not hers. It takes a hell of a lot of skill to sing, play piano with her left hand and beat a chair with her right! Obviously you are not a piano player and as such have never attempted such a difficult skill. As to here style, she has professed that she "has no style" She wants to be diverse, fusing punk with classical with rock with pop. The trick is to pull it off - and Regina does this superbly. Regina also sings a Capella. And sounds amazing - she has a beautiful voice and is not afraid to use it with confidence. Poor Little Rich Boy is actually not a crock. First of all I believe that Regina is actually sympathising with him, rather than ”like trying to put him down.” Regina’s persona – the rich boy is lamenting the situation with his mother and girlfriend, he is wishing for more…for a simple life full of simple pleasures. As for your comment about Regina being “snooty” – you simply heard incorrect. She was not rich as a child. She lived in the Soviet Union, where she was fortunate enough to receive classical piano lessons. This is not an uncommon thing – many people who are far from rich are able to receive piano lessons. When her family subsequently moved to the US (due to the religious persecution in the Soviet Union) they had to sell their piano, arriving with virtually nothing. But I think that you hit the nail on the hear when you state that your “not even sure what she's talking about.” As for your mention of Chemo Limbo, I assume that you enjoy the song? It is externally difficult to tell from your paragraph, your writing style is neither casual nor professional. It lies somewhere in between, and confuses your opinion greatly. Also your comments on the "song about sailors" which incidentally is called Sailor Song (too much to read the actual song names while listen to them? I mean this is only a review...). Sailor Song is about the morality of sailors who travel and are presented with many sexual opportunities. Finally with regards to the album title. She herself is “Soviet Kitsch” You are correct again with what you heard – it is a reference to the fact that the soviet union was so isolated, that modern style was late in arriving. People in the Soviet Union were always behind the times – unfashionably late. There is a lot of Soviet here – her musical influences can be heard to be Slavic – and you may not care where she was born (the Soviet Union), but you clearly care where she grew up – the Bronx – not Brooklyn. Regina’s music is skilful, playful and heartfelt. She may not be to everyone’s taste – but that’s ok. If you don’t “get it” then refrain from talking with authority on it. A little research on the internet would have provided you with more than enough background information. Check out her whole album for free at
Posted 04/03/2005 - 01:44:51 PM by joordan:
 hokay, well I am going to go out on a limb and say the review is ironic here dawson865 since a cursory glance at his other reviews show a pretty sustained and sincere reviewing of the albums. and while i am not a huge fan of the "concept" review, you do a nice job of "correcting" the deliberate missteps, I mean she may be from da Bronx not brooklyn but if you think this album is not going to be received as not emenating from the hipster 718 (even if the connections to the ____ folk revival associated with the aforementioned borough are tenuous), then wake up and smell the discourse. I would prefer to have a straight review, but you wonder with cover art (I know don't judge but don't ignore) whether you are not begging for a bit of ironic engagement. I don't like either of your takes on kitsch or why it would be funny given the title since much of the Soviet cultural production was seen as counter to the kitsch (German for shit) coming from the various dream/commodity machines of the West. so to my ears, I think the album is OK, nothing revelatory or that huge a departure form Tilly and the Wall or several other anti-folkies. her voice is nice and her loud/soft play is nice sometimes but I am nto sure why we should raise this above the level of kitsch or a B- for that matter.
Posted 05/19/2005 - 10:54:06 PM by Meggy8:
 Wow, thank goodness I'm reading this review as a joke that you're playing on us all, considering I came here from Regina's forum. If I didn't know any better, I might think you actually listened to Ms. Spektor's amazing lyrics and musical compositions for more than a millisecond. Reading this from the perspective of a recently-educated "Spektorite," it is easy to see that you can't have listened very closely to "Soviet Kitsch" at all. We all may be entitled to our own opinions, but as a reviewer, isn't it your job to look past the immediate, shallow thoughts that come into your mind -- you know, those ones you chose to write about in your review? ~Meg~
Posted 11/02/2005 - 07:51:47 AM by tomk87:
 Well, Spektor fans clearly suck.
Posted 07/12/2006 - 01:25:40 PM by brottishluv:
 Justin Cober-Lake obviously is very ignorant and was too lazy to find out true FACTS about regina spektor. I can't believe people read this review and get turned off when they might really like regina. The cd is not a "downer". There are happy songs and sad songs, what should she not sing about certain things because a retard might review her and be too sensitive. "Like, is she trying to be a punk or a folksinger or a classical musician or what?" She is not trying to be a certain type of musician, she doesn't want to be stuck in a genre. "(And get this—I heard she was snooty, starting piano at six and training with a music professor and stuff. No wonder she isn't hard on this rich guy.)" You are writing a review, don't write a review on gossip, something you heard, like your a 13 year old girl in junior high. If you read any bio of hers you will find out she was NEVER blessed with money, grew up very poor, and got piano lessons for free. "but I'm not even sure what she's talking about" Well figure it out before you write a review on it! "I heard that "kitsch"". Again you heard.....research these things, stop writing reviews on gossip. I have actually listened to the CD and absolutely love it. It is definitely entertaining, you will not get bored while listening. The lyrics are meaningful, fun and touching. Once I listened to this CD I was hooked..I bought her previous cd's, 11:11 and songs, and she has since come out with a new cd, Begin To Hope, it has a different style but is still beautiful and full of regina! She is one of the most talented musicians of today.