Regina Spektor used to actively repel any comparisons to chart-humping drama queens just by being Regina Spektor- her beautiful and clever yet na├»ve-sounding voice always running in different directions to the minimalistic music she made but fitting perfect all the same. Those days are gone. ‘Begin To Hope’ finds the Russian born New-Yorker caving in to whatever sort of pressure got to Alanis Morrisette years ago. ‘Better’ sounds like a Bon Jovi cast-off, there are Euro beats crashing into each other everywhere else and by ‘Edit’ it’s all starting to sound horribly similar. ‘Samson’ is the exception, sounding like a mainstream radio hit, a smoky backroom sing-a-long and a lonely confession all at the same time. And only ‘Fidelity’ retains the valuable majesty of before. You can mourn the quirks and out-of-this-world oddness that Spektor previously did so well but the biggest shame is the loss of her fantastic rainbow-coloured personality. Another one bites the dust.

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