Superb Soundtrack For A Magical Life: A “Far” Review Of Sorts

I once watched an episode of a TV drama in which the characters were participating in a “pill party”—there were various kinds of prescription drugs in a martini glass and the party-goers were just mixing to see how the felt and basically, to have an experience. I, personally, see this as an easy way to die. But, I understand the premise—new bodily and emotional experiences. I just prefer to do it with music.

I know I’ve gushed at length about Regina Spektor—I feel like she’s a modern day storyteller with a strong sense of the whimsical. Often, when I’m looking for music to match my emotional state, lyrics are the first thing I go for. But not with Regina. I feel like I have set ideas in my mind about which songs of hers are love songs, agony songs, sad songs… and those core emotional reactions don’t really have their root in the words she writes.

So I’ve drawn up the best listening conditions for each of her tracks off of Far, which was released today. Pick it up, and live your life with the most superb soundtrack of them all.

This track by track review has nothing to do with anything except for how it makes me feel.

The Calculation: You’re going for a walk through your neighborhood and you’d like to actually pay attention to the sounds, the sights, the smells, the colors instead of being wrapped up in that utterly selfish phone conversation you had with your “friend” earlier in the day. It’s sunny out, and you even might skip if it so compels you.

Machine: It’s always best to strike once the iron is cold—you know that, right? This song feels right for the planning or revenge tactics. Do your homework, decide your boiling point, and pick a date in the future. Research shows that planning revenge can be cathartic. Plan away, you vengeful deviants.

Human Of The Year: You’re on the verge of a great idea. You’re going to do something important. At the very least, you’re going to RECYCLE today. Maybe whisk an old lady about to be plowed away from the crosswalk? You are larger than life. Think big.

Two Birds: Your significant other and you are in a silly, delirious kind of love. You suspect you might be growing apart, but you just want to wrap yourself in the syrupy, gooey memories of pleasantness that has been the last 8 months.

Genius Next Door: You’re sitting at Coffee Bean, concocting elaborate tales about every human that walks through their doors. Imagining what your relationship with them would be if you were to say, “Hello” and it stuck. You made a connection. You will forever be the bff’s who make banana bread on Tuesday nights.

The Wallet: You’ve just found out something fantastic about a member of your family that you thought you knew really well. For example, your grandmother was a trapeze artist for Barnum and Bailey’s circus for 3 months after she turned 16. This changes everything. You sit on your bed and drink tea and think about joining the circus yourself.

One More Time With Feeling: You put on your best dress, drive aimlessly for 42 minutes until you find a café that looks right and then go in and sit alone at a table for two. Order lemonade and say you’re waiting for someone. Tell your server you may have been stood up with a look of mild concern on your face. Order a slice of cake and then leave.

Man Of A Thousand Faces: Someone very important to you is in the hospital. You sit with him for hours, radiating positivity and making sculptures out of plastic utensils and masking tape. You’re definitely healing him with your mind–steadily, from the inside out. You clean his house and put peonies on his kitchen table for his big homecoming.

Dance Anthem of the 80’s: One more shy half-smile from the object of your affection and you’ll have enough courage to ask them out. You are not above doing the robot on the hood of their Honda Civic. Even the unrequited-ness of it all has you bubbling with joy, though.

Eet: It’s just you, your laptop and a poignantly melodramatic LiveJournal entry waiting to happen. Take a deep breath and tell us how you really feel. It’s ok to shed a tear or five, we won’t say a word.

Folding Chair: Driving to go hang with all your best friends. Your hair is down, you’re gonna see your favorite band and you can’t wait ‘til that aftershow moment where you all are so deliriously tired that normal conversation disintegrates into terrible celebrity impressions and blatant silliness.

Laughing With: You’re having a “what does it all MEAN?” day. You’re sort of torn between planning for the future and living in the moment. You rearrange all the things on all of the shelves in your room and then text message your boyfriend to come over so you can be lulled into a nap by his heartbeat and a warm hand on your back. You dream that all the answers arrive at your doorstep in packages wrapped so elegantly that you’ll never open them.