Sound: Regina has always stuck to a special type of sound that makes her music stand out. But it's never stopped her from dipping into other styles within that niche. Compare "11:11"'s "Wasteside" with "Soviet Kitsch"'s "Your Honor". Regina Spektor is undoubtedly talented, and this album is no exception. From the baroque-feel of "Oh, Marcello" to the slowed down feelings of "How" and "Firewood", Regina has managed to stay true to that unique sound that her fans have always loved. Her remake of "Ne Me Quitte Pas" gives it a bit more of an upbeat, happy feeling, without overshadowing or falling short of the original. All in all, Regina's sound is as amazing as ever.
However, there were a couple times when a track or two just felt a bit lackluster, but quickly recovered itself. Outside of that, the sound is spectacular. // 9
Lyrics: Hoo boy. Regina's lyrics have always been of the interesting sort. Some make sense, and others are completely indecipherable. In "What We Saw From The Cheap Seats", we are treated to that same blend of beautiful, creative, and (at times) enigmatic lyricism. This isn't to say that the lyrics are poor - It's quite the opposite. Regina's word choice reflects her personality of fun, quirky, and creative.
Some songs have parts that are in everything from French to Italian to Russian. If you remember "Apres Moi", which has a French title and Russian breakdown, then you're familiar with this. "Oh, Marcello", for example, hops between English and Italian in the same sentence, yet with enough fluidity to allow the verse to still be fitting. Few other than Spektor can lay claim to that.
Then there's Regina's singing itself. It's truly a unique style! Her voice is one that cuts through the white noise of others in her genre, and her vocal techniques such as the glottal stop (which she has become rather well known for) are as impressive as her expansive vocal range. She's an artist with an audible smile in her songs, and "What We Saw From The Cheap Seats" is no exception. // 8
Overall Impression: Overall, it's a phenomenal album. It easily stacks up to the success of "Far" and "Begin To Hope". Some of my personal favourite tracks are "Firewood", "How", "Ballad Of A Politician", and "All the Rowboats". Of course, I also love "Ne Me Quitte Pas". If there's was one thing I could change, it'd be a TINY bit more... "pizazz" in one or two tracks. But an artists music is an expression of THEIR creativity, not mine. Given that, I absolutely love this album.
If I woke up to find that someone had taken or scratched it, I wouldn't hesitate to replace it. This is an excellent follow up to "Far", which came out an entire 3 years ago. As long as Regina doesn't pull an Axl and keep us waiting until 2027 for the next one, I'd say she'll only get better from here. // 9