I’ve always been interested in music, whether it be the classical stuff I play on piano or flute, the music I hear on the radio, or the random obscure music I stumble on the Internet. So I will start highlighting some of my favorite music finds on my blog starting with this month’s Music on my Mind. Here I go!
What We Saw From The Cheap Seats by Regina Spektor
Release Date: May 29, 2012
When Regina posted on her Facebook last November that her new album would be released in May, I immediately pre-ordered it on iTunes. It had been 3 years since the release of Far in 2009 and I was dying for new material from Regina Spektor. The one track pre-orderers got from What We Saw From The Cheap Seats was Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas) which I proceeded to play 5 times daily.
Ne Me Quitte Pas (I prefer the French title) is bubbly and just fun! It was previously included on Regina’s 2002 album Songs which had a much more raw sound but this new recording gave it a new spin with it’s production quality. It is easily one of my favorite tracks off this new album.
Another great track is All the Rowboats. When Regina released the music video for this song, she blew me away with her long locks and smoky eyes. It was a tremendous change from her quirky curls and red lipstick. I must say I was a bit disappointed when she returned to her regular make-up routine during her run of late night show performances, but she never fails when performing live musically. All the Rowboats has a dark, spooky sound. It’s kind of a depressing take on museums and art, but very enchanting nonetheless.
Small Town Moon is a track that I think a lot of us can relate to. It’s about wanting to move on to bigger and better things in life but still wanting to hold on to your roots, the ultimate struggle for any person striving for success. Personally, I think Regina may have written this song about trying to stay true to her Russian heritage. This can be seen on the bonus tracks of the album which includes 2 Russian songs.
There are just so many great things about this album but I don’t want to write about every song because I want to review a few more albums in this post but I will point out that Ballad of a Politician, The Party, and Call The Brothers (featuring Only Son) are also in my top 6 songs off this album.
Overall, Regina Spektor did a wonderful job keeping some of her original sound from her Songs days and combining it with the improving sound production that came with Begin to Hope (2006) with What We Saw From The Cheap Seats. While some Regispek fans criticize her from times to time for becoming “mainstream” or a “sellout,” I think that the improvement in her production quality is an appropriate move. Regina is still the same intriguing songwriter and the improved sound quality can only make listeners appreciate her music even more.
And I would just like to point out that I have already started working on All The Rowboats and Small Town Moon covers. I love that Regina combines her classical piano training with modern music style. That way a classically trained musician like me can play it.
Thoughts I’ve Never Had Before, Part 1 by Jesse Ruben
Release Date: June 12, 2012
Last weekend I posted about seeing Jesse perform at the Delaware Art Museum. When I was there I snagged a signed copy of his 2010 album The Ones That Matter but I was hoping that he’d have copies of this new EP which he released this past Tuesday. On Monday night, just before midnight I was going to get ready for bed but decided to check iTunes before to see if the album was up even though it wasn’t technically Tuesday yet and to my surprise, it was! I think it may have been 11:30pm June 11th when I downloaded this album so I felt really special for getting it before the actual release date haha. Well, actually I only downloaded 4/5 tracks because I had already bought We Can when it was released as a single and it was cheaper to buy the songs separately without it. And again, if you read my other post about Jesse you can tell I completely love his music. This album is no exception. Here are some of my favorites.
We Can is inspiring, simply. It was only my finals study playlist, the only non dance/techno/electronic/pop song on it. That’s right, when I want to get motivated to study I listen to dance music, weird right? What is so special about this song is that moves from something very personal to Jesse, running marathons to something big that we could all pay a little more attention to.
I Should Get Out More is my legitimate life, really. As a college student, it seems expected that you go out and party and drink all the alcohol and do all the drugs. My uncle even wanted to get me a fake ID as a graduation gift last year, although if my aunt hadn’t talked him out if it it probably would have gone unused except to get into any over 21 concert venues. But, that’s not the life for me. I would prefer staying in a knitting cat sweaters for my nonexistent cats than go hang out with a bunch of intoxicated strangers, no offense to those who wouldn’t. This song makes me feel like if I went to school with Jesse, we’d be the best of friends. We could sit in and “read Harry Potter for the seventeenth time” and knit Harry Potter scarves and have a great time.
I’m not going to talk about Stupid Amerian Guy, If I Only Had a Heart (Wizard of Oz cover), or In the Blink of an Eye for the sake of word count but I can guarantee that they are all great songs.
Oh, and like with Regina’s songs, I’ve tried to play I Should Get Out More on the guitar because it uses only 3 chords and I know all of them! (I’m not a guitar player. I know about 5 chords.)
And that’s it for this segment of Music on my Mind. I might be making it regular, if I feel like it and find cool music. I’ll probably be doing a separate one for my Asian music finds later on so if you like Kpop, look forward to it!