Rolling Stone - p.683.5 stars out of 5
-- "Spektor shows off her gorgeous, fluttery voice, her burgeoning writer chops and her God-given quirks..."
Rolling Stone - p.104Ranked #21
in Rolling Stone's "The Top 50 Albums Of 2006" -- "Her vocals are intense..."
Spin - p.88
4 star out of 5 -- "Funnier than Fiona Apple and sexier than Nellie McKay, she gets freakier with her classical training than Alicia Keys."
Q - p.1163 stars out of 5
-- "[T]he 25-year-old remains comically kooky..."
Q - p.116Ranked #82
in Q Magazine's "100 Greatest Albums of 2006."
Alternative Press - p.2244 out of 5
-- "BEGIN TO HOPE finds Spektor still enjoying the ride, this time with better production, and flittering along with stream-of-consciousness tunes..."
Mojo (Publisher) - p.883 stars out of 5
-- "Spektor has finally embraced her pop roots and it's the knowing details that resonate..."
Personnel: Regina Spektor; Rusty Anderson (guitar); Shawn Pelton (drums); Nick Valensi (guitar).
Audio Mixer: David Kahne.
Recording information: New York Noise Studios, New York, NY; Seesquaredstudio, New York, NY.
Photographer: Adria Petty.
BEGIN TO HOPE finds anti-folk chanteuse Regina Spektor taking a small step away from piano balladry into the brave new world of the pop song. And what pop songs they are. Spektor's voice takes the foreground over sparse arrangements of guitars, strings, some electronic beats, and yes, piano. Her singing, if you can believe it, is even better than it was on SOVIET KITSCH: intimate, playful, and full of jazzy phrasings. She slips effortlessly into falsetto and scat in a manner reminiscent of Joni Mitchell. "Hotel Song" finds Spektor singing whispery and smooth over humming organs and a muted snare drum. In "On the Radio," she sings about hearing G'N'R's "November Rain" while plucked strings and synth arpeggios go noodling on behind her. This is an album full of surprises, not the least of which is how lovely the effect is overall.