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By Korea Herald

Published : June 1, 2012 - 18:29

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Spektor charms despite missteps on new CD

Regina Spektor

“What We Saw from the Cheap Seats”

(Sire/Warner)

From the opening moment of “What We Saw from the Cheap Seats,” Regina Spektor enchants. On the first song, “Small Town Moon,” her beautiful vocal range is buoyed by rock-heavy interludes and coupled with uplifting lyrics that give the song a surprising amount of depth.

But there are a couple of missteps that momentarily detract from the album, on which she mines emotional territory covering love, loss and more.

“Oh Marcello” mixes beat-boxing and piano rather uncomfortably as Spektor borrows a line from “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood,” made famous Nina Simone; it’s interesting but it doesn‘t really work. She regains her stride with “Don’t Leave Me (Ne Me Quitte Pas),” where she shows she can sing as beautifully in French as in English.

The only weird moment is on “Open,” where the listener is subjected to a noise that sounds like Spektor being strangled; it’s odd and offputting, and misplaced here.

Check this track out: “Firewood” is a piano-based, love-soaked ballad where Regina really shows her strength, pulling at the heartstrings.

(AP)


Violinist’s album of French passion

Shin Hyun-soo

“Passion”

(Universal Music)
Korean violinist Shin Hyun-su, who won third prize at the prestigious Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels last week, has released her first solo album, full of French pieces.

The winner of the 2008 Long-Thibaud International Competition demonstrated her outstanding musical talent through works by Henryk Wieniawski, Ernest Chausson and Claude Debussy.

She has created a somewhat romantic sound on the album, showing off her next stage as a classical artist. The sound she creates particularly in Henryk Wieniawski’s Polonaise Brillante No.1 in D major Op. 4 is sophisticated, clear and feminine. Japanese pianist Akira Eguchi collaborated with her on the album, recorded in Japan in 2010.

The 25-year-old Shin started playing the violin at the age of 4 and began her solo career at 11. She has competed in a number of renowned contests and won second prize at the Hanover International Competition in 2006.

(christory@heraldcorp.com)

Beach House comes into ‘Bloom’

Beach House

“Bloom”

(Sub Pop)

“Bloom” is the fourth studio album from Beach House and follows the duo’s successful 2010 album “Teen Dream.” Alex Scally and Victoria Legrand created “Bloom” on the road during the band’s two-year tour.The first single, “Myth,” is a beautiful concoction of twinkling synth, with dreamlike, fluid melodies, paired with equally dreamy lyrics: “What comes after this, momentary bliss.” The album then drifts into ‘Wild’, and the dreamscape continues with the addition of a distinct rhythm, echoing a heartbeat. The next song, “Lazuli,” features female breathy vocals with more emotive lyrics.

The band is successful in creating a fantasy-like atmosphere with the songs, which all have an ethereal feel. But the disc wanes a bit toward the end, and instead of being transfixed in a reverie-like state, the listener may find themselves nodding off instead.

Check this track out: “Wild” is a prime example of the talent of the band ― the layering of drums and the airy vocals and guitar are mesmerizing. (AP)