Yesterday, Regina Spektor released her new album, Far. Spektor, in my opinion, is one of the best singer/songwriters of the new millennium. You can draw comparisons to Bjork, Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, or even Ben Folds, but Regina Spektor is in a category all her own.
The stories she tells with her music sound autobiographical, but are mostly fictional creations; quirky, sad, funny, unique. Specific and universal at the same time. Her singing ranges from quiet whispers to operatic wails, and often uses her voice to create percussive sound effects. Plus, she plays the piano.
I'm no music critic. Just check out her website. Or, you can listen to the entire album here on NPR. I'd recommend The Calculation and Laughing With. If you don't like those songs, you won't like her music. If you do, you should also check out her last album, Begin to Hope, or her more bare-bones releases Soviet Kitsch, 11:11 and Songs.
The only thing I don't like is the CD cover, because they should have hired me to do the illustration. Oh well, maybe next time.