User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 54 out of 58
  2. Negative: 1 out of 58

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  1. May 29, 2012
    9
    Really interesting new album. A bit darker than last album. Great melodies, quirky voice that is totally infectious. Hard not to like her after hearing several tracks. A real story teller.
  2. May 29, 2012
    9
    Regina Spektor is one of those artists hardly anyone likes at first. Like liquor. She's a lyrically puzzling, piano thumping storytelling with vocal arrangements as dramatic as a theater major... but also much like liquor, once you really get into the music, it becomes an uncontrollable addiction. What We Saw From the Cheap Seats is like a delicious fruity drink with deadly amounts of mixed vodkas and gins. It will knock you on your ass when you're done with it. It's definitely Spektor's most down-to-Earth, calm album yet, with productions quality at an all-time high, but her identity as a humbly strange anti-folk legend remains.

    Spektor seems to be more aware of herself and her talents on this album, using more accents ("Oh Marcello"), beat boxing ("All The Rowboats") and hand-and-feet instrumentation ("Small Town Moon") than seen on any of her previous albums. She even steps out from behind the piano to play the trumpet in "The Party," with only her mouth and no trumpet of course.

    Before the album is even halfway over she gives us one of her most beautifully depressing ballads in years with "Firewood," which rivals Begin to Hope track "Samson" both musically and vocally. A couple tracks later and again she ups the ante with "How," a song about heartbreak so jarring that it could make even Duffy or Adele seem as cheerful as Ke$ha. Still, Spektor isn't all about depressing hidden meanings and quirky, cutesy air instruments. She has, over the years, been uncovering a more pop side of herself that seems to shine on each album like "Folding Chair" from Far or "Better" from Begin to Hope. This album offers up "The Party" which compares a swain to a lively parade that leaves you messily frazzled and smiling. "Ballad of a Politician" is the most nostalgic record, reminiscent of tracks like "Chemo Limo" that chronicle corruption, a favorite topic of mine. It's hard to put Spektor is to one category or another. Her music bounces from between different genres and themes. She's an explorer. An acquired taste, yes, but she definitely knows exactly who she is and what she wants her music to sound like. Now that she has a bigger budget and production team behind her, moreso than her first 5 albums, she can bring that huge imagination out of her head and into our ears.
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  3. Jun 6, 2012
    9
    A typical Regina Spektor record. Simplistic lyrics with a dreamy vocal lead and sometimes overpowering instrumental, and of course, the signature piano riffs Spektor has become known for. This record takes a more poppy sound than its' predecessor 'Far' and despite being a bit darker, deceives the listener by fronting it with light, fluffy piano and brass section. Lead single 'All The Rowboats' is probably the standout track on the record, others are 'Small Town Moon' and 'The Party'. Expand
  4. May 29, 2012
    9
    a fantastic display of everyone's favorite Regina that perfectly shows her skill from boppy strange pop songs to her classic instantly recognizable beautiful piano melody's! her voice floats from song to song making it an absolute delight to just sight there and try to take everything in ( which there is a lot of!). If you are a fan like me of Regina's work before then this is an absolute must have! Expand
  5. May 30, 2012
    10
    Absolutely amazing album from one of the most talented and unique pop singers out there. She channels the quirkiness we all love brilliantly in this album, and if you're a new listener you may want to start somewhere else; however, for those already-established fans, this is the best thing Regina could have done for us. Not a bad song on the album.
Metascore
73

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Oct 12, 2012
    40
    The occasional glimmer of pop genius seen in the albums past is mostly absent, with plodding piano ballads in place instead. [Jul 2012, p.112]
  2. Many of these songs are merely bemused, and when she revises "I'm just a soul whose intentions are good," all she achieves is a different singalong from the one you expected.
  3. Jul 18, 2012
    80
    Spektor delivers everything with such guileless brio that you never notice the join [between troubadour style to chrome-clean hip hop].