REGINA SPEKTOR | Cambridge Corn Exchange

 

Few could sing the stuttering ‘it breaks my h-h-h-heart’ with such gleeful bounce whilst also delivering a hefty punch of heartbreak in the process.  Regina Spektor is quick to captivate as some sort of enchanting enigma: ‘kooky’ is a description hard to resist, but it fails to give justice to her sincerity or talent.  Her humble thank yous between songs and observations about the day’s rain are endearing, but in the next breath follows whimsical questions about adult television channels in a hotel room.

Flanked by keyboards, drums and cello (pizzicato duties in full flow), Spektor’s silhouette at the grand piano seemed a little shy at first.  A kaleidoscope of lights rainbowing the ceiling soon lifted confidence, and with each song both performer and audience relaxed.

Regina Spektor has a knack for a melody that would make Brian Wilson envious.  With this she couples lyrics that conjure enough characters to fill a family photo album, delivered with a wry, but warm, wit that kept the Cambridge audience captivated:  the Corn Exchange was a-hiss with accompanying sibilance mouthed from a chorus of admiring fans.  We jounced our knees to her love of an off-beat crotchet and couple canoodling reached its peak during Samson.  It’s no criticism to suspect that Spektor could easily churn out an album of breathtaking ballads alone, but instead she tempers her output to intoxicating effect.

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