« Far », the third major-label album from Regina Spektor, is probably the most underrated album of 2009. It's an amazing and spirited collection of songs that certainly proves that although comparisons to Tori Amos are understandable (both are original piano-based female songwriters), they are a bit lazy: Regina is definitely in a league of her own. Her voice is beautiful and expressive, her lyrics are thought-provoking and her piano-playing is excellent; however, the strength of her compositions is the most striking thing on this album. Originality and sensitivity seem to be her main card, as demonstrated by most of the songs pieced together here; her lyrics are brimming with pensive, thoughtful lyrics that range from religion ("Laughing with") to peeking at someone's life through a found wallet ("Wallet"). And when she does tackle the more common topic of romantic relationships, she certainly does it in a way that hasn't been heard before ("The Calculation"). Best of all, her melodies are strong and memorable; "Genius next door" is simply breath-taking, while "Eet" is probably the most intoxicating melody I've heard in ages. Not surprisingly, these two songs are the album's true highlights; however, there are many more, such as the pensive "Laughing with" and "Blue lips", the catchy "The Calculation" and the uplifting "Folding chair". In fact, the only minor letdown of the album is its very minimal packaging; when you write lyrics as good as these, they certainly deserve to be printed. "Far" may not be her most experimental work (although she gets in that zone with the evocative "Machine"), but it's certainly a convincing demonstration of how talented Regina Spektor is. It represents a wonderful introduction to her music for anybody who's not familiar with her, all the while offering her fans something wonderful to feed their ears with.