The Russia native became increasingly popular in the United States after she wrote and recorded the main theme song to the Netflix Original TV Show “Orange is the New Black.”
In her first new album since 2012, Spektor does not stray away from what has made her so popular. Many songs feature a piano, her voice, and often an electric guitar, giving each a song a pop feel.
Spektor opens the album with the song “Bleeding Heart,” which was released as a single prior to the full album.
The song immediately begins with an upbeat feel that transitions into a catchy chorus. The music composition is straightforward with a piano and a bass behind it. Overall this song portrays a simple punk feel, mirroring many of Spektor’s songs in the past have mirrored.
“Small Bill$” was the second single released prior to the complete album release. Spektor’s vocals give the song a hip-hop vibe. The song boasts a strong drum presence, while the piano takes a backseat with simple chords that keep the beat.
Listeners will have to wait until the middle of the album for the best song. “The Light” showcases just Spektor’s voice and a piano. The ballad combines the best parts of Spektor’s singing and piano-playing into one song. It is impossible not to appreciate the bare vocals complimented by the piano’s ascending and descending scales. The lyrics “I know the morning is wiser than the nighttime” will be stuck in listeners’ heads for the foreseeable future.
Two songs away lurks “Tornadoland,” another upbeat song heavily dominated by piano. More than the others, this song tells a story of mistakes made. The mood changes from happy to dark as the piano descends the scale in heavy fashion, only to return to the gentle voice of Spektor.
Remember Us to Life is an album full of hidden gems. Spektor’s quirkiness in storytelling remains a strong point in her lyrics. However, as a whole, many of the songs seem to blend together. A listener could take this positively, as a seamless way to create an album, or negatively as a lack of creativity and a refusal to grow.
Overall, the album deserves a listen, if only for the discovery of a few songs that will make a study playlist. Spektor fans will appreciate this album, as she sticks to what she does best. Those not familiar might get lost in the lack of difference from track to track.