Monday, April 30, 2007

Feist enraptures on "The Reminder"

When Leslie Feist isn’t busy being an adorable songbird, she is busy making music. Feist is one of the many members of the Canadian super-group, Broken Social Scene, as well as a successful solo artist with two studio albums to her credit. 2004’s “Let it Die” was a critical success, giving Feist an identity outside of Broken Social Scene.

“The Reminder,” Feist’s follow-up to “Let it Die,” takes the singer’s vocal driven pop to the next level. “The Reminder” is a smooth, relaxed and joyous album that showcases Feist’s silky voice perfectly on almost every track.

Feist wastes no time opening “The Reminder”. “So Sorry” is a sultry ballad about confused lovers. It features acoustic strumming and some soft percussion, and really sets the tone for the rest of the album. If you aren’t melting by those last “tonight’s” then there is something wrong with you.

“I Feel It All” follows “So Sorry,” changing the pace a bit. This track is much more upbeat and whimsical, using a lot of piano, chimes and some hand claps for good measure. This is one of the best tracks on the album, and one of the better singles of the year.

“My Moon, My Man” completes a great three song span on “The Reminder.” Each of these are very solid singles, and if this album is a success, it will be on the back of these three songs.

“1, 2, 3, 4” is another great track on the album and uses a broad range of sounds to create a lighthearted love song. Banjo, horns, strings, backing vocals and finger snaps all combine to support Feist’s vocals without overwhelming them. Feist also shows her knack for writing compact lyrics that aren’t too heavy or too trivial, matching the mood of her songs. “Sweetheart bitterheart now I can tell you apart / Cozy and cold, put the horse before the cart / Those teenage hopes who have tears in their eyes / Too scared to own up to one little lie.”

If there is anything to complain about on “The Reminder” it’s that Feist reigns it in too many times. She’s at her best when her songs are carefree and fun. The first three tracks, “1, 2, 3, 4,” and “Sea Lion Woman” are all examples of this. Some of her sleepier tracks, “The Water,” “Honey Honey” and “How My Heart Behaves” are some of the weaker songs on the album. Luckily, Feist’s voice saves these and actually offers a change of pace that is understandable.

Silky, angelic, buttery, sexy. These are all words used to describe Feist’s voice, and you would be hard pressed to find someone to disagree. But Feist isn’t simply relying on her voice to sell records. Although the majority of her songs are about love, they remain so varied in sound that you’ll hardly notice. And by the time you’re done listening, you may be in love with her voice. “The Reminder” is a wonderful and gorgeous album that will strongly contend for album of the year come December.

No comments: