It didn't take long for my optimism to fade.
Many of the same criticisms I had of the Toronto show I saw are valid on the new album as well. Despite being an incredible storyteller on her records, Spektor is completely detached from her audience. The banter is practically nonexistent and there is nearly zero connection between performer and (granted, still enthusiastic) audience.
Spektor does precious little to alter the songs from the album state or provide her fans with any new listening experience. When she does it's by letting her unique voice run amok. It's her go-to trick and she uses it as a crutch...and annoying, annoying crutch.
Clocking in at 22-tracks, Spektor can't be accused of short-changing the paying customers, at least in terms of set length. However, many of those songs are slow numbers that see Spektor as an almost uninterested observer rather than a star performing in front of an adoring throng.
Occasionally there is a gem. "Hotel Song" and "The Calculation" show that Spektor's voice can be beautiful when she tones down the wackiness. The jaunty "Folding Chair" and the groovy "Dance Anthem of the 80's" provide a pair of the record's few inspired moments.
The confirmation I now have is that Regina Spektor is not a great live performer. The question that must be asked now is: why does this album even exist?
Best tracks: "Hotel Song", "Sailor Song"
Track listing for Live In London:
- On the Radio
- Folding Chair
- Sailor Song
- Blue Lips
- Apres Moi
- Dance Anthem of the 80's
- Silly Eye-Color Generalizations
- Bobbing for Apples
- Ode To Divorce
- That Time
- The Calculation
- Laughing With
- Man of a Thousand Faces
- Hotel Song
- The Call
- Love You're a Whore
4.0/10Regina Spektor's website