An honest and emotional collection
Singer-songwriter Regina Spektor released her album Home, before and after on June 24, 2022. Spektor was raised in the Bronx after her parents left Russia, where she was born, and she began to release music in the early 2000s. After much experience, her newest album is mature and introspective. With influences from jazz, folk and pop, she creates an impressive collection of 10 songs that show off her abilities as both a songwriter, musician and singer.
“Becoming All Alone” was the first single and a very popular recording on this record. She sings about a conversation that she has with God while walking the streets of New York City. The song tells an emotional story over somber piano and instrumentation. Despite the melancholic message, her vocals are bright over the tragic instrumentation and honest lyrics. She showcases both her storytelling and musical capabilities on this first track on the album.
The third track on the album, “One Man’s Prayer,” is another song in which she references God. On this track, she wishes for a girl to love her back and talk to her if she can not talk to God. The instrumentation is upbeat and easy-going, similar to the lyrics. She uses rhythmic guitar, piano and drums, while she sings brightly over this instrumentation.
The next track, “Raindrops,” goes back to the melancholic sound of the first track. It begins with a gentle, light piano that carries throughout the entire song. She sings about missing someone. She uses descriptive lyrics and cracking vocals to express her pain and longing for this person. The song is gentle yet expressive and is sure to tug on the listener’s heart.
The sixth track, “What Might Have Been,” is a unique track. It starts with similar piano sounds to the previous tracks but quickly becomes more rhythmic and upbeat. She sings about different concepts, people, and items that go together, like, “loving and leaving.” The track is reflective, dark and uplifting with a mix of references. She ties all of the concepts together by saying that they are what might have been long ago and that everyone loves stories of what might have been. This song is reflective yet easy to listen to and catchy.
One of the last tracks, “Loveology,” is a popular song on the album. On this one, she sings about love and how different people understand it. She references a humanist with a tone of sympathy towards them. While the lyrics are sympathetic, the instrumentation is gentle and hopeful. With soft piano playing and orchestral strings, the song takes on a tranquil vibe until drums and bass come in during the chorus making the song more upbeat. The vibe remains hopeful and gentle throughout despite the changes in instrumentation.
Overall, 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 heart-wrenching lyrics.