57: Begin to Hope (Regina Spektor)

Album: Begin to Hope
Artist: Regina Spektor
Year: 2006

1. Fidelity
2. Better
3. Samson
4. On the Radio
5. Field Below
6. Hotel Song
7. Apres Moi
8. 20 Years of Snow
9. That Time
10. Edit
11. Lady
12. Summer in the City

Despite my affinity for jam bands, I also love a singer/songwriter who can play a mean piano.

I struggled ranking this album considering it has songs I adore as well as loathe. I’m not a huge Regina fan as I find her glottal stop thing she does pretty obnoxious, as well as her songs that eschew melody or structure. The last half of this album has quite a bit of that, though I do enjoy Edit a little bit.

Begin to Hope, however, has probably my favorite first half of any album. Fidelity is an incredibly sad song despite it being about falling in love. Better is above average. Samson and On the Radio are both in my top 30, both lyrically and musically perfect.  I prefer her version of Samson on her 2002 album Songs, but this one is pretty damn good, too. And every time I hear Hotel Song, I sing about orca whales and owls pretty much the rest of the day. If I’m listening to this album, I often turn it off after Hotel Song.

There are extended versions of this album that add a whole slew of songs. If you’re so inclined, Dusseldorf is a pretty good track.

9 thoughts on “57: Begin to Hope (Regina Spektor)”

  1. Ah, Regina Spektor. She’s one of the definitive compilation-type singers for me. For every great song (and she has a number of them), there’s willfully weird stuff like “Aching to Pupate”. She’s had enough truly excellent songs to fill a CD, and enough stuff that makes you go “eh??” to fill several.

  2. I played this nonstop for about a year after it came out. I remember driving our old PT Cruiser and little Mari singing “On the radio, uh-oh” in the backseat anytime I didn’t have music on. Damn, I miss that.

  3. I’ve liked several of her tracks, I’l have to listen to the couple you highlighted here that I haven’t heard. I was shaking my head one day when they played the first 30 seconds of Eet for Dave Ryan. He had never heard of her, and after that short sample he labeled her as “Taylor Swift if she was whiny, couldn’t sing and didn’t write her own music”. WTF?

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