Now Regina Spektor has finally gently nudged her way from obscurity and come blinking into the lights at the edge of the mainstream its almost like she’s always been here. Begin To Hope her latest album is one of those which makes you wonder what we all did before she ambled along. Her latest collection has enough of her trademark piano and vocal styling to keep her long-term fans happy.

Before picking up the album I’ll confess there was the odd reservation in my mind about what I would be getting. The general consensus was that this recording would be a much fuller one than her previous works, hints of a grander broader sound leaked through on the single. One of Spektor’s absolute strengths in the past has been her ability to work within an almost skeletal musical framework. Piano, vocal and the occasional cheap tick tock of a drum machine were all she ever seemed to require to turn out some jaunty, crazy and downright beautiful tunes.

This time round the production stakes have been upped. The presence of a band behind her is clearly in evidence, a mixture of chiming USA radio friendly rock (on tracks like Better) surfaces early. On paper that doesn’t sound promising but it does work, it seems the more you throw into the mix the harder Spektor works. Vocally she’s as impressive as she ever was, moving from glass like fragility (Samson) right through to sullen don’t fuck with me nonchalant glances (That Time). Inbetween there are sweetly soulful interludes with Regina effortlessly soaring above the backdrop (recent single On The Radio).

Lyrically there are lots of heart on the sleeve love songs told with familiar little twists and Spektor’s reoccurring themes of mythology woven into such tales. The endearing eccentricity is thankfully intact (Hotel Song and on the bonus edition Uh America demonstrate this as well anything), all delivered without pretension or the slightest shred of self consciousness. Musically she still embraces her classical roots but serves them with a liberal garnish of pop and hint of folk. It’s a nice combination, you get the accessibility of contemporary music with the drama of its musical forebears. Despite being fairly established now Spektor maintains a curiously wide eyed innocence to her writing and it is that alongside the first rate performances that give this album a longevity and a status that should serve it well in time to come.