Buy: Amazon With all the female singer songwriter types that pollute the airwaves, everyone seems to be compared to the crazy Russian-American, Regina Spektor. Her first two albums, Soviet Kitsch and Begin To Hope were so good she sparked a flurry of Spektor-wannabes. Third album, Far, maintains those sky-high standards set by the previous offerings, only this time with a little less wonkyness. Every so often she would usually throw in a mad three minutes or so singing about god-knows what in god-knows what way; and it would sound brilliant. There was always an underlying beauty to it all though and this is where her concentration lies on Far. It threatens to go back to the madness on Dance Anthem Of the 80's and Machine, but not quite. Far as a result, becomes much more of a conventional pop record, straight from the first off-beat, chirpy beat of The Calculation to the last twinkling of Man Of A Thousand Faces it's accessible to even the non-Spektorites. Latest single Blue Lips, performed so brilliantly sparsely on Jools, takes on a new persona, becoming shuffling, rickety dark pop. Folding Chair stands out and sounds something sounds, well – happy. But then it is somehow about dolphins dreaming. Lyrically she still is as eccentric and her voice is still as massive, shining even more so here than ever before. Laughing With is the Spektor of old; a pensive brooding haunter. “No-one Laughs At God In A Hospital/No-one Laughs At God In a War” sets the stall out as the theme, questioning and contemplating into something slowly emphatic. It somehow means so much more, so much more sincere and intriguing when it comes from her. While Far shows off her astonishing voice and songwriting ability, taking away that bit of crazy has still taken a little edge from Regina Spektor. It has though opened the door to a different side to her, a side of searing beauty. It also proves that no matter who gets compared to her, nobody can touch her when it comes down to it. 8/10