Far - Regina Spektor
Metascore
74

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. The tunes are consistently fetching, and a few standouts have clever lyrics.
  2. Regina has basically mastered everything else too; it's hard to see her making a wrong move anytime soon.
  3. The fables and fantasy lives they depict are rendered in fairly understandable terms. Yet Far still shows the range that Spektor can travel within her dreamy world.
  4. playing the freak also makes her blissfully unself-conscious, and that can be contagious. Nothing's more heartfelt than 'Wallet,' an ode to a stranger who lost his.
  5. A couple of tracks--'Machine' and 'Human Of The Year'--never quite crawl out of the shadow of their high concepts, but Far otherwise cements Spektor as an artist comfortable with her own eccentricities, and beguiling in her ability to bring listeners into her strange, tempestuous, and often beautiful world.
  6. With her third Sire album, the deliciously attractive Far, Spektor again shows how original she is, finding the gleam in modern life with its contradictions and confusion in a uniquely colloquial manner.
  7. 80
    This is an adventurous, joyful album from a major talent. [Aug 2009, p.98]
  8. She's making a bid for the mainstream, even recruiting ex-ELO mainman Jeff Lyne to her corner on five tracks, including grandiose highlight 'Human Of The Year,' a three-minute distillation of the album's overriding facination with religion. [Aug 2009, p.104]
  9. Far matches "Kitsch's" rococo flow with the follow-up's pop smarts.
  10. 80
    Far snuggles between her previous efforts, linking the heady sweep of 2003's "Soviet Kitsch" to the roundabout pop treats of "Begin to Hope."
  11. Far is her best album yet, and while it's a long way from early works such as Soviet Kitsch or 11:11, it perfectly illustrates the evolution of a woman who's becoming a truly great artist.
  12. Every song on this--her fifth--album sparkles with intelligence.
  13. Tired of her peculiar singer-songwriter pop being a fringe taste, the Russian-born New Yorker's gone for the commercial jugular, polishing her strangeness with help from ELO's Jeff Lynne among others.
  14. Far is a bright and gratifying listen; one that doesn’t aim at ideas above its station or flounder in search of unity.
  15. It is worth repeating that Far takes everything Regina Spektor has done in the near ten-year span of her career and mashes it up to perfection.
  16. 74
    Her new environs are distinctly different to the basement recordings of her past, but the friends she brings along preserve some of the intimacy and spontaneity of the dramtis personae that earns her the adjective, "Spektorian." [Summer 2009, p.91]
  17. While some of Far covers ground Spektor's already gone over, she's essentially doing what she does best. [Summer 2009, p.62]
  18. Far, her new album, will likely be criticized for its continuing drift towards the centre.
  19. I was surprised that it holds up well to close scrutiny--in spite of my reservations, the album is well performed and crafted, with a surprisingly mordant thematic unity touching on mortality and the soured promises of childhood--but I’m still bothered by its anonymity.
  20. Far goes some distance to halt a slide into mere radio-friendly pleasantness, though.
  21. Frankly it makes our blood run cold with images of Sunday supplement purgatory, Spektor trading soft-focus licks with Katie Meluah from out of suburban glove compartments for decades to come. Thankfully the reality is nowhere near as bad as that.
  22. 'One More Time With Feeling's' dynamics shift and her lyrics are vague, but carry a heartfelt sentiment. Far has too little of this and winds up being a mixed bag.
  23. While Far is far from bad, it doesn't quite live up to expectations, either, based on all the talent involved in making it and how fully Spektor expressed herself on "Begin to Hope."
  24. She's always interesting; for all the nonsense, Spektor is a writer with something to say.
  25. Here she leaves behind the flaky-as-adorable posturing long enough to salvage Far from its role as capricious sideshow, and so, too, long enough for listeners to get a glimpse of the songwriting talent that lurks beneath the peculiarity.
  26. No less than four producers--Mike Elizondo, David Kahne, Jeff Lynne and Garret “Jacknife” Lee--contributed to the album, and their collective efforts have resulted in a mid-tempo muddle of pseudo-lovely tracks plagued by a hovering cloud of meddling strings, slappy drums and perfunctory triangle chimes.
  27. Unfortunately, all this talent behind the boards often feels like a waste because of Spektor's inability to let her songs stand on their own merits without the persistent interjection of vocal curlicues or verbal flights of fancy.
  28. 40
    Throughout, there's an ungainly combination of the leaden and the jaunty. [Aug 2009, p.102]
User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 16
  2. Negative: 2 out of 16
  1. Jeremy
    Sep 16, 2009
    4
    Nice sounding, but its almost too perfect. The production gloss is overtaking her. 11:11 and Songs were brilliant albums of unbridled Nice sounding, but its almost too perfect. The production gloss is overtaking her. 11:11 and Songs were brilliant albums of unbridled creativity,brilliant, and beauty. THAT is te quirky regina. Everyone reviewing this album calls her a quirky genius, but i find this to be her most mundane album yet. She sounds bored 90% of the time, and she used to use her voice as so much more of an instrument. All her weird vocal affectations (ie: "2.99 Cent Blues" or "Lounge") are gone. She wouldn't dare do her old stuff now because Sire (her major label master) would never let her. She's doing what she wants, but within the confines of a major label. Especially the old Folding Chair where her voice was so much quirkier and more enthused. Now it's a bland attempt at recreating greatness. I miss the old Regina, and aside from one or two tracks, this is an annoyingly banal release. (EVERYONE needs to listen to her REAL first two albums, 11:11 and Songs. Then you can see if you're a fan of the true, original Regina Spektor.) Full Review »
  2. Nov 18, 2014
    7
    Varies in tone so much it could almost be called a flaw.
    Regina Spektors voice carries the really quite simple songs out of their potential
    Varies in tone so much it could almost be called a flaw.
    Regina Spektors voice carries the really quite simple songs out of their potential mediocrity and transcended my expectations. Nothing immensely skillful though.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 23, 2013
    6
    This album by Regina Spektor has a few standout songs (Genius Next Door, Blue Lips, Two Birds, Human of the Year), and those songs work veryThis album by Regina Spektor has a few standout songs (Genius Next Door, Blue Lips, Two Birds, Human of the Year), and those songs work very well. Unfortunately, many mark a new, radio-friendly turn for Spektor while the other descend into complete immaturity. However, Spektor's immaturity is still pretty pleasing. Full Review »