Since Regina Spektor got her start by performing wherever and whenever she could, it's no surprise that her live show is still one of the most compelling parts of her artistry. She's come a long, long way from scrounging for gigs in basements and comedy clubs -- all the way to London's Hammersmith Apollo theater, where she recorded the CD/DVD set Live in London
. With its immaculate but not oppressive sound quality, the collection gives listeners the best seat in the house as Spektor performs favorites from Soviet Kitsch
, Begin to Hope
, and Far
. Her charisma shines especially brightly on "Eet," where her masterful vocal leaps carry the song, and on "Blue Lips," where a string quartet adds weight to the song's musings. The well-balanced set list works even better on Live in London
's DVD portion, where viewers can see how ably Spektor interacts with her band and the audience on "Apres Moi," "Dance Anthems of the '80s," and "Us." Die-hard fans will be particularly thrilled that the hard to find songs "Silly Eye-Color Generalizations" and "Love, You're a Whore" are here, but anyone fond of Spektor's insightful whimsy will be pleased with this document of the woman in her element.