An honest and emotional collection
Singer-songwriter Regina Spektor released her album House, before and after on June 24, 2022. Spektor grew up in the Bronx after her parents left Russia, where she was born, and she started releasing music in the early 2000s. After much experience, her new album is mature and introspective. With influences from jazz, folk, and pop, she creates an impressive collection of 10 songs that showcase her abilities as a songwriter, musician, and singer all rolled into one.
“Becoming All Alone” was the first single and a very popular recording on this disc. She sings about a conversation she has with God while walking the streets of New York. The song tells a moving story over dark piano and instrumentation. Despite the melancholy message, her vocals are brilliant over the tragic instrumentation and honest lyrics. She showcases both her narrative and musical abilities on this first track from the album.
The album’s third track, “One Man’s Prayer”, is another song in which she references God. On this track, she wants a girl to love her back and talk to her if she can’t talk to God. The instrumentation is upbeat and easygoing, similar to the lyrics. She uses rhythm guitar, piano and drums, while singing brilliantly on this instrumentation.
The following track, “Raindrops”, takes up the melancholy sound of the first track. It begins with a soft, light piano that continues throughout the song. She sings that someone is missing. She uses descriptive lyrics and cracking voices to express her pain and longing for that person. The song is sweet yet expressive and is sure to touch the listener’s heart.
The sixth track, “What Might Have Been”, is a single track. It begins with piano sounds similar to earlier tracks, but quickly becomes more rhythmic and upbeat. She sings about different concepts, people and things that go together, like “love and leave”. The track is reflective, dark and uplifting with a mix of references. She ties all the concepts together saying they are what could have been a long time ago and everyone loves stories of what could have been. This song is thoughtful yet easy to listen to and catchy.
One of the last tracks, “Loveology”, is a popular song from the album. On this one, she sings about love and how different people understand it. She refers to a humanist with a tone of sympathy towards them. While the lyrics are sympathetic, the instrumentation is sweet and hopeful. With soft piano playing and orchestral strings, the song takes on a quiet vibe until the drums and bass enter during the chorus, which makes the song feel more upbeat. The mood remains hopeful and sweet despite the changes in instrumentation.
All in all, Regina Spektor has an impressive album that contains many stories, emotions and sounds. Using influences from many genres, she is able to tell her story through her expressive voice and heartbreaking lyrics.