Regina Spektor Far

Regina Spektor Far
In her brief career, Regina Spektor has managed to develop a devoted, if close-knit, group of hardcore fans while slowly spreading her gospel through duets with the likes of the Strokes and Ben Folds. Far, her fifth album, comes three years after her 2006 major label debut and finds the Russian-born pianist clearly divided as to what kind of career she wants. On one side is the quirky piano pop singer that was on display on "You Don't Know Me," her playful duet with Folds earlier this year. On the other is a piano balladeer heavy on melodrama. The pop songs, particularly the pair produced by hip-hop producer Mike Elizondo off the top of the album, are better suited to Spektor's mousey voice. Chasing emotional gravitas, as she does on the Jeff Lynne produced "Blue Lips," will certainly leave her buried in a sea of other so-inclined singers. Reconciling this duality is the key to enjoying Far. (Sire)