Album Review: Regina Spektor – Home, Before And After

Regina Spektor is a musician who has had a fantastic career so far, with an impressive release schedule and a sense of artistry unparalleled by many of her peers. She’s back with another album, this time titled Home, Before And After. So how does it fare when compared to her previous work?

Put simply, it’s almost a masterpiece. To give it some background, the album was largely recorded by Regina alone in a converted church in New York State, also accompanied by a producer and an engineer, John Congleton and Ariel Shafir. The setup is really quite impressive, especially considering the amount of instrumentation on the record – long gone are the days of the girl at the piano, with a vast range of other instruments present here, including an orchestra, recorded in Macedonia.

Spacetime Fairytale is a particular highlight, with the running time being almost nice minutes long, featuring the aforementioned orchestra, tap dancing and a number of different musical changes within the piece. It truly sounds epic. Becoming All Alone sounds beautiful from the start, showcasing Regina’s captivating vocals, alongside the piano and strings. The chord sequence used is stunning, showing just how talented a songwriter she really is.

Another favourite for me was Up The Mountain, which has a more upbeat vibe to it than some of the other songs here, with epic strings mixing with a catchy beat to make something that should bother the charts. It shows off Regina’s more eccentric side well, with an urgency present that is often missed in modern pop songs. My only real criticism of Home, Before And After is that there seem to be more down tempo songs than one might expect, especially when considering some of her more recent releases. However, after a few listens, it all seems to make sense, with each track segueing well into the next one.

Overall, Home, Before And After is a great addition to the Regina Spektor back catalogue, progressing her unique style on in perfect succession. Each album she releases seems to build upon her brand in the best way possible, whilst still keeping the kooky sense of eccentricity that made so many people fall in love with her music in the first place.