Begin to Hope
By Ericka McThenia
Regina Spektor, the Russian songstress slash pianist, releases her first album of all original material, Begin to Hope, for Sire Records.
The hit song and first track, “Fidelity,” may be viewed on VH1 quite regularly when music videos are in rotation, however, don’t be fooled into thinking all the songs are this upbeat and lighthearted. A more appropriate way to describe the album and its lyrics would be to say that there’s a sense of longing.
“Fidelity” starts the 12-track set and “Summer In The City” closes it, bringing the album full circle with this sense of playfulness, while quite a few songs in between are longing and hopeful.
As the CD progresses, there’s a difference in lyrics and musical composition. Each song is different from the one previous and the originality of each song makes for easy listening. It could also be the piano played by Spektor in every song that makes the music audibly pleasing.
“Lady” is quite sultry in a sad way with a hint of the blues, as is “Field Below.” “Sampson,” based on the mythological “hairy” man is very sweet, while “AprÃ¨s Moi” is dramatic and loud. And, yes, “AprÃ¨s Moi” has lyrics in another language. The title is French, and the last four lines of the song are in Spektor’s native, Russian.
There’s a repetitive pattern throughout most of the songs, but it doesn’t sound redundant. The repetition moves the song forward and fits into the melody of the song.
Begin to Hope is complete with words printed in the CD booklet, which makes for easy following when trying to learn the songs.