Wednesday, July 12

Track Review: Regina Spektor

Regina Spektor: "Samson" Track Review, or, Matt Uses His First Attempt at Reviewing Music to Verbally Cum on a Beautiful Pop Song

From "Begin to Hope"

I really, really need to have something bad to say about this song. I want to be professional and proper, give the pros and the cons, say my piece, and be done in time to download the new Peaches album and watch some more Court TV. And moreover, I really just don’t want my editor to get mad at me for turning in the biggest puff piece of a review imaginable as my debut effort, but damn it, I just can’t bring myself to do it. “Samson” is hardly a perfect song, in fact I can think of at least two songs on Regina Spektor's new album “Begin to Hope” that I enjoy just as much, but for some reason to breathe a negative word about this song just feels like musical blasphemy.

Coming from someone who worships at the altar of Fiona, it’s good to know that there are more quirky, angel-voiced songstresses in the world. The first ten seconds of the song could easily stand as a lesser artist’s impressive chorus, her voice rising up to the rafters almost immediately as throughout the song she uses her impressive falsetto to give added weight and splendor to already gorgeous lyrics.

In much of her music Regina Spektor has a way of keeping her songs both timeless and current almost simultaneously. “Samson” could be simply a retelling of an old Bible story with a twist, or it could all stand for something else entirely. When she sings, “Your hair was long when we first met,” it sounds as if she’s singing about a hell of a lot more than an ancient strong man and ill-advised haircuts. Even seemingly cringe-worthy lines like, “He ate a slice of Wonderbread, and went right back to bed,” are delivered with such devotion that it’s hard not to forgive them as minor lyrical slips of the tongue.

So, all this run around is just to keep me from mentioning the real lynchpin of the song, and if you’ve heard the track and possess a heart that occasionally pumps blood, you know exactly what I’m talking about. At around the minute-forty mark, Spektor pulls off one of the most spectacularly beautiful moments in music that I have personally ever heard. When she sings about being told she’d, “done all right,” and being, “kissed until the morning light,” it makes me think back to all the moments when I’ve been completely enthralled with another human being. Maybe the song isn’t nearly good enough to be deserving of such a thing, but fuck me if that’s not what it does. My best friend and her boyfriend almost came to blows over the fact that he claimed “Fidelity” was the worst song he’d ever heard in his life and at least two other Paper Stereo writers (full discloser: Ryan and Dominick) claimed that the exact same moment almost made them weep, so it makes me feel safe to know that I’m in good company.

The odd thing about that is that I’ve been here before—when I heard “Samson” a few years ago on her “11:11” album—and for some reason it didn’t register as much of anything, but now I can’t get it out of my head. In fact I’ll go on record as saying that, so far, it’s my favorite musical moment of the summer. That being said, I also have the flightiest taste ever, so tomorrow I could very well be telling you that “Black Swan” changed my life, but as of this very moment, give me “Samson” or give me death. So there it is, first review: a total failure.

Regina Spektor - Samson

- Matt Lindsay -

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At 3:27 PM , Anonymous Ren said...

There must be a more attractive, non-Vampire picture of Regina Spektor out there. She may make some beautiful music but she looks like she just returned from a 3-day coke binge.

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At 11:44 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

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