Regina Spektor - Live at Cabaret Voltaire (revised)

New songs, vivid as tangerines

Article by Sean Michaels | 17 Mar 2006
She comes out and she looks so modest: a technicolour t-shirt, curls in her hair, mouth an easy smile. She takes a microphone and the first song is just that, mouth and microphone, a finger tapping beat and heartbeat. Later it's fingertips on piano, drum-stick on chair, a couple of numbers on electric guitar. Throughout it all, her recorded material is elevated toward the sublime; those eccentric monologues becoming tender and startling conversations. New songs, vivid as tangerines, and old ones too: she sings Samson and our hearts pang. As Regina's voice rises from sooty lows to starry highs I think of Joni Mitchell but I also mostly think of a figure skater on some Central Park pond, landing twirling jump after twirling jump; no matter how thin the ice or how high the leap, Regina is cucumber cool, glad with the peril, a pink-pricked face showing the full flush spread of human feeling. [Sean Michaels]
Cabaret Voltaire, Edinburgh, Feb 1