Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Consumer Guide Album

Regina Spektor: Far [Sire, 2009]
No kid but not yet 30, the very classically trained piano woman outgrows her musical and verbal eccentricities. The tunes are consistently fetching, and a few standouts have clever lyrics--"Laughing With," the sensible theist's answer to "One of Us," or "Wallet," in which a good-hearted young person reaches across the generational divide to a stranger who'll never know who did him a good turn. But that cleverness doesn't do justice to the even strength of Spektor's humanism, which often manages to be whimsical and levelheaded at the same time. Insofar as one can read autobiography into this carefully unsubjective stuff, she seems to have the usual commitment problems and also seems likely to overcome them. Eventually she's sure to find a bird who's ready to fly away just when she is. A-