Baroque release from NY anti-folknik

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Regina Spektor – Soviet Kitsch

From a Russian childhood via a New York conservatory training and the scuffed stages of the anti-folk scene to a duet with The Strokes, Regina Spektor has a back story (and name) to die for. Soviet Kitsch doesn’t quite live up to this fabulous pedigree, but it’s on the way. Baroque piano settings, subtly shaded with strings, frame a voice that flutters between Bronx wiseacre and Joni flights of fancy. Songs are let down by wilful kookery and boho snootiness (“Ghosts Of Corporate Future” advises its Mr Jones, “Why don’t you drink less coffee?”), but at her best?the bittersweet “Somedays”?she gives hints of a 21st-century Laura Nyro. We await her “Moscow Tendaberry”.

STEPHEN TROUSS