It’s only fair that a talented musician like Regina Spektor would take advantage of what fame has afforded her to reach back into her bulging bag of songs and revamp an oldie. Often times these songs are from her early demo albums featuring merely Spektor on vocals and piano, and there is a true beauty to the raw value of those songs; when they get a new skin, it can be scary. Sometimes the changes are subtle I don’t mind it, such as “The Ghost of Corporate Future” on Soviet Kitsch, and sometimes adding more to the song can detract from the song’s original beauty, I still prefer the “Samson” that appears on her one-take album Songs over the more vivid version on Begin to Hope. When I saw that “Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don’t Leave Me)“, originally featured on Songs, would be getting the treatment on Spektor’s latest album What We Saw From the Cheap Seats, I was naturally nervous to click on the link…
But I loved it! The bouncy keyboard tones that open the track automatically brought a smile to my face, as the video warms up with wide shots of Spektor in an apartment. The added percussion only help fuel the fun mood that is meet with adorable videos of Spektor being her silly, quirky self, making a day of adventure out of the furnishings and knickknacks in the apartment. She is shown planking, fencing, and creating all sorts of fun as the music grows more wild to match, until a neighbor finally comes knocking at the door. It’s a great video for a fun and somewhat nonsensical song. In a turn of my usual fears, this song actually enhances the original version, which I previously found a little long and dry, the new version is full of life and about a minute shorter.
Listen to the original:
Also, if you are a Regina Spektor fan and you haven’t purchased Songs, please do! It’s an amazing album full of some of her earliest and most imaginative songs. It’s only available on CD Baby, so grab it before it’s an iTunes-only like 11:11. Listen to “Oedipus” and “Daniel Cowman” and you’ll have to have this in your collection. (And if Regina or her people are reading this, please don’t ever re-record those two songs, they are so perfect, as they are!)