At first, I didn't mind her. I figured, "Great. Here's some new pop music that can sit aside Fiona Apple and Bjork and give women, gays and guys who wear tight jeans, scarves and boots something new to put on their iPods." Her target audience is easier to define than the goth-emo crowd that worships My Chemical Romance.
But now I'm sick of it. She's overrated. Her music is like that modern art painting you buy because it's different and cool at the time. You hang it up on the wall and look at it, but don't understand it. You never will and will probably regret that you bought it when it's out of style and still unexplained years later. You later trade it at a swap meet for a touch-lamp and a Shawn Kemp bobble-head.
Her lyrics are mostly ambiguous, the kind that draw in people who savor horoscopes. Listeners read into her lyrics for a deeper meaning, an explanation, and are satisfied creating personal interpretations -- when the actual lyrical meanings are something close to the product description on the back of a shampoo bottle.
Regina Spektor is surely talented, but no one knows how to classify her artsy music, so she's everywhere she shouldn't be -- the true source of my frustration. I expect my eccentric roommates, KaMoos, to play it in the house because they're pseudo-Bellingham-hippies. I expect colorful KEXP to play it.
But I literally threw up a little bit in my mouth when I heard it on 107.7 The End before "Smells Like Teen Spirit." Moses, chalk up another commandment: Thou shall not play Regina Spektor in any sequence that includes Nirvana or similar artists. I want to make tracks off Nirvana's "MTV Unplugged" album an exception, but that's still a stretch.
I've heard Regina Spektor on the 107.7 several times now, and I'm not exaggerating when I say that each time the station plays one of her songs the DJ puts a caller on the air who complains about it. I've never heard such negative reaction. In the last instance, the caller said, "If you keep playing that crap, you're going to make the Seahawks lose on Saturday." That's a serious threat. I don't know if the DJs keep playing her tracks because they actually like the music, or because they like toying with their listeners.
It's time to put Regina Spektor in her place: in between Fiona Apple and Jewel for now, and in the car, on your way to the swap meet, in a few years.