I discovered Regina Spektor in 2009 through the 500 Days of Summer soundtrack, which is one of my favorite movies (and) soundtracks. Two of Regina’s songs feature on this brilliant soundtrack and it took me a while to pick the one I want to write about.
Us is about love and it’s gradual and mysterious progression and eventual degeneration for some. It beautifully captures what happens to all great and grand things and people. They are first lauded (built statues of), celebrated in the society, admired as acts of achievement (tourist come and stare at us) and then eventually they lose their sheen, start rusting away and no one really cares.
The piano keeps the sardonic tone light and consistent, the violins and cellos of the string quartet add that hint of deep thought, irony and foresight at the same time. Regina’s matter of fact vocals makes the agonizing inevitability of it all so sound normal, relatable and painful at the same time.
It’s as if each failed love story has a permanency to its past, as all that remains in the end is the degraded and corroded image of something great and magical that once existed between two people.