If there’s a common thread running through most of my favorite music, I would have to say that it’s the piano. I love nothing more than rock/pop songs laden with piano, so of course I love Regina Spektor's music. Russian-born, Brooklyn-raised Spektor composes songs around the piano and pairs them with her oscillating vocals and narrative lyrics to create a distinctive, fun sound. I often hear her described as quirky, but that simple interpretation of her music undermines her classical training and complexity of sound. Her latest album, Far, explores themes of alienation in daily life. I enjoy it immensely, though I am fonder of her previous two albums, pop masterpiece Begin to Hope and folk-infused Soviet Kitsch.