Feist : Metals
To listen to Metals, Leslie Feist's first offering in four years, is to have the Canadian songwriter clutch your fingers and guide you through the soundscape of her being.
Taking a darker, but no less euphoric turn with her music, Feist weaves the beautiful with the sinister, proving once again that the singer has a lot more to offer than just radio and advert-friendly jingles. Of course I'm referring to Feist's 2007 hit, 1234, from her award-winning The Reminder, which among other merits bagged the singer four Grammy nominations and six Juno wins.
With her ability to write catchy hits like 1234, Feist could undoubtedly pen an entire record of happy-go-lucky pop music. Lucky for us then, that Metals is the resounding slice of chaotic beauty that it is.
You can feel the drums from the opening track, The Bad In Each Other, reverberate in your chest long after the song has finished. It's a moving, stripped-down ode to love gone wrong, with a verse like thunder and a chorus that sounds like sun piercing the clouds. It's something special and it sets the tone for the rest of the record.
As the album progresses, it all builds upon the foundations the opener laid out. Feist expertly meshes the dark with the light and the euphoria with the melancholy, while her voice lies engulfed in it all, but not for a second swallowed up.
Whether she's projecting her voice softly over strings, or shouting gang-vocals atop a river of drums and guitars, Feist makes it all sound so effortless and stunning. Comfort Me is a shining example of this, which weaves the humming and the clanging and the gang vocals with her gentle voice, guitar and strings, exhibiting the kind of raw talent that doesn't come around too often.
The record drifts between songs, tempos, instruments and themes without ever hitting a snag. From the dramatic numbers like A Commotion, to the relaxed Sunday-afternoon tunes like The Circle Married The Line, every song complements the next in a fluid, natural succession. Under-produced, raw and heartfelt, Metals serves as a standard bearer for real music in the 21st century.
BY OLIVER PELLING
Best track: The Bad In Each Other
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In a word: Raw
Feist Metals is out now throuh Cherrytree/Interscope.