What We Saw From The Cheap Seats

Regina Spektor - What We Saw From The Cheap Seats
Critic Score
Based on 19 reviews
2012 Ratings: #342 / 1032
User Score
Based on 83 ratings
2012 Ratings: #224
Liked by 1 person
May 29, 2012 / Release Date
LP / Format
Sire/Warner Bros. / Label
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A.V. Club

There’s not a weak track on the record, and there’s something arresting in each song


What We Saw From The Cheap Seats pulls off the impressive trick of stylistically bouncing about all over the place while retaining a very identifiable vision all of its own.

Consequence of Sound

It’s a pleasure then that her sixth studio release, What We Saw From The Cheap Seats, finds Spektor focusing on her assets while still playing with style and tone.


Though it rarely makes good on the promise of her earlier songs, Cheap Seats is polarizing

Drowned in Sound

None of these are bad songs, of course, but only a couple from the record would even be in contention for a Regina Spektor ‘best of’ playlist.

Spektor returns to a sound similar to that of Begin to Hope where her production takes a large front seat throughout the album, her charisma and vocal delivery seemingly following along in suit rather than taking center stage. This leaves the album feeling a little hollow in comparison to her best work, but still reveals an enjoyable if somewhat forgettable listen.

There are certainly bright spots on What We Saw from the Cheap Seats. On Oh Marcello Spektor delivers a wild vocal performance ... read more
Spektor gets less interesting with each release, sadly.
I think that wanting Regina to return to music like "Soviet Kitsch" is somewhat wishful thinking. I love "Soviet Kitsch" probably more than the next guy, but that album was written from the perspective of a 23-year-old immigrant living in the middle of the New York folk and punk scenes. "Soviet Kitsch" is a perfect storm and it's not an insult to say that level of creative drive may never return.

Regardless of that, I still love "What We Saw From The Cheap ... read more
Not my favorite Spektor release, but still plenty to like. This is a record where she is most effective when she doubles down on her serious side and gets rid of the quirk, which again leads to a few too many over-affected instances. Still, though, many nice additions to the Spektor songbook.
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Year End Lists

#38/American Songwriter
/NPR Music

Track List

  1. Small Town Moon
  2. Oh Marcello
  3. Don't Leave Me (Ne me quitte pas)
  4. Firewood
  5. Patron Saint
  6. How
  7. All the Rowboats
  8. Ballad of a Politician
  9. Open
  10. The Party
  11. Jessica
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Added on: May 1, 2012