If the sound on this album wasn’t so polished and clean, one might think Regina Spektor more than a little nutty. Spektor’s lyrics – though a little abstract and esoteric – have the irony and dryness of the Smiths, along with the frank, heartfelt intimacy of Bob Dylan. The classical piano and sweeping score underlying the album give an impulsive and emotional Tori Amos vibe, while the vocals are in quirky Björk fashion.

Soviet Kitsch opens with the daring "Ode to Divorce," in which Spektor contemplates being eaten by her ex-boyfriend, being inside his mouth and noticing that he had "eaten something minty." Bizarre lyrics like these might turn some people off initially, but really, they are more charming than threatening.

In the eccentric "Carbon Monoxide," Spektor repeats the phrases "Yeah, I’m so cool" and "Come on daddy" a befuddling large number of times. Sometimes she may not make any sense, but at least she is a lot of fun to listen to.

Spektor is brutally honest and speaks without censure, taking a unique swing at the singer-songwriter genre. Less whiney and more sarcastic than Dashboard Confessional, and with better humor than most classical artists, Spektor gives a refreshing and rejuvenating performance in Soviet Kitsch.

Grade: A-

Soviet Kitsch is currently available.