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The Reminder

Feist

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Album Review

When Leslie Feist released her breakthrough Let It Die, almost instantly she became an indie icon. Her pretty, sometimes melancholic love songs, her clear, campfire voice, and her vaguely jazz- and disco-influenced arrangements (highlighted no better than with her cover of the Bee Gees' "Inside and Out"), and her association with darlings Broken Social Scene wooed critics and music fans alike. Her follow-up, The Reminder, will serve as proof that Feist's success was no fluke, as the album contains more of the same sweet, introspective lyrics and chords that float around love and longing (or lack thereof) like cottonwood seeds in late spring. Because that's what The Reminder, like Let It Die, is really: warm, lazy music made for those summer afternoons that creep into evening before you realize it. Feist's voice is as cleanly emotive as ever as she sings lines like "There's a limit to your love/Like a waterfall in slow motion" (from "The Limit to Your Love"), "Piecemeal can break your home in half/A love is not complete with only heat" (from "Intuition"), or "Put your weight against the door/Kick drum on the basement floor" (from the upbeat "I Feel It All"), confident but with a weakness, a fragility in it that comes out during the most sentimental lines. But this can also be a drawback. The singer can, at times, border on a kind of sappiness that seems better suited to Top 40 Matrix-produced pop songs than hipster-blog accolades. "We don't need to fight and cry/We, we could hold each other tight tonight," she breathes in the otherwise lovely "So Sorry," whose puerile rhymes are fortunately held up by the track's breezy sophistication. The same cannot be said however for "Brandy Alexander," which is too syrupy for its own sake (much like the drink on which it is based), with its repeated phrase "He's my Brandy Alexander" (juxtaposed with "I'm his Brandy Alexander") and "Goes down easy," as Motown-esque harmonies jump in to emphasize that last word. Why Feist, who shows her lyrical skills in tracks like "The Water," "My Moon My Man," and her reinterpretation of Nina Simone's "See-Line Woman" (incorrectly identified as "Sea Lion Woman"), "Sealion," believes it necessary to include such saccharine lines is a bit confusing, and hints at the suspicion that while undoubtedly she seems to have enjoyed very much making The Reminder, she also wasn't really challenging herself with it. She follows the same path she took with Let It Die — which, being as strong as it was, is certainly not the worst decision she could've made — and does it well, which means that the album does end up a consistently good listen. But it also means that it's not much of a departure from what she's shown before. Who knows, Feist may be able to go on charming us by doing the same thing for eternity, but there may also come a point when we want something more, and it's still unclear if she'll be able to deliver that. [The 2007 Polydor edition included bonus tracks.]

Customer Reviews

Very Feist-y!

I am a huge fan of the last album - Let it Die , so was eagerly awaiting this one. At first listen it feels alot softer and more folky without the disco / breaks aspect of the previous, but after a while it really starts to sink in and log in your head! Stand out tracks so far are "Past In Present", "1234" and "My Moon My Man". All V. good. Buy it from Russia though, for gods sake.

Chill!

this album is so chilling, i just listened to it in bed on a sunday morning and it was the best lay in ever! my personal faves are 1234, so sorry & i feel it all.

LOVED THIS ALBUM

MY FAVOURITE ALBUM TO DATE FAVES= SEA LION WOMAN BRANDY ALEXANDER MY MOON MY MAN SO SORRY I FEEL IT ALL THE LIMIT TO YOUR LOVE PAST IN PRESENT HONEY HONEY AND 1234 TOO MANY GREAT SONGS TO CHOOSE FROM ON THIS SUPERB ALBUM!

Biography

Born: 1976 in Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Leslie Feist — best known simply as Feist — was a respected member of the Canadian alternative music community before becoming an international pop sensation with the success for her albums Let It Die and The Reminder. Feist was born in Amherst, Nova Scotia, Canada on February 13, 1976. Her father Harold is a respected abstract painter and academic, while her mother Lyn is also a visual artist who works in ceramics. Feist was a baby when her parents divorced, and her mother relocated...
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