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Regina Spektor’s recent Remember Us to Life features a new meditative posture

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Since her chirpy single “Fidelity” from Begin to Hope became an unlikely earworm in 2007, Regina Spektor has been beloved by the cultural cognoscenti and celebrities alike, even though she hasn’t a produced a single as massive since. It’s a rare win for someone operating within her own sui generis sphere, where classical sophistication commingles with childlike singsonging and dark lyrics about heartbreak, regret, and the ugliness of politics and corporations. Last June, Chance the Rapper tweeted that not using a take of “Same Drugs” with Spektor on it for Coloring Book “may be my biggest mistake.” We may never be able to decide for ourselves—the version remains unreleased. What’s certain is that Spektor’s point of view isn’t going anywhere (see: the theme song for Orange Is the New Black and her cover of “Dear Theodosia” on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s The Hamilton Mixtape ). This tour is anchored by her very good 2016 album Remember Us to Life, which is dotted with the shadowy playfulness you expect from Spektor but adds to that a meditative posture and a layer of ambrosial orchestral strings. She’s grown up since 2007, becoming a mom while bearing witness to a new and horrifying American political climate—it’s no wonder she’s favoring minor keys these days. Still, there are things to love about this album that could only come from Spektor, from the piano-driven prose poems of “The Light” and “Tornadoland” to the folktales in “Grand Hotel” and “The Trapper and the Furrier” and the pop qualities of “Bleeding Heart” and “Small Bill$.” Her albums have always managed to be sonically incongruent yet stylistically cohesive, and this is no exception.   v

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