The charming Regina Spektor returns with 'Begin To Hope', an album that takes her characteristic quirky, piano-based pizzazz and smoothes the edges into a breezy pop album with a sassy twinkle in its eye.
There's whimsical, bubbling style of Fiona Apple with multi-vowel nouns and uplifting vocals on opener, 'Fidelity', while first single, 'On The Radio' is a mass of carefully orchestrated synth beats and strings, it's cute and very twee in its infinitely personal tone, but so much smarter than any other pop song. 'That Time' is another number with a sugary kick, taking it to the extreme with the tasty lyrics, "Hey remember that time when I would only eat tangerines".
'Samson' is precious storytelling in its simplest and most beautiful form, stripped bare to the piano and the deeply impassioned vocals. 'Samson' is the tune to breath a lovelorn sigh to, "You are my sweetest downfall, I loved you first," intones Regina with a timeless air.
Regina becomes a rock songstress with her gutsy vocals matched with resounding guitar chords on 'Better'. Fashioned as a modern New York cowgirl amongst these chugging guitars, it's clear that evolution is making Regina's music more widely acceptable and creating songs to impress nations rather than music pundits and oddballs.
There are still some crazy concoctions, 'Field Below' is an acquired taste with jazz piano segments, but mostly it plods lazily along; however if you're hooked to Regina's lackadaisical vocals you won't mind a bit. 'Apres Moi' is Regina at her wild finest though, it's an epic full of fluttering emotion, beneath tense chiming piano notes the vocals sighs and cries are in every way enchanting and draw you in. 'Lady' is a tender, cabaret number which should be sung over the piano of a smoke-filled bar until tears pour from the audience's eyes.
'Begin To Hope' is a little more collected and polished than Regina's earlier albums, but it's just as crazy under the surface with the singer's charisma bubbling through on every track, from the quirky pop songs to the orchestral emotional releases. 'Begin To Hope' could be revered by fans of every genre and such praise is long awaited for such a talented singer-songwriter.