8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Feist - Heavy Metals,
This review is from: Metals (Audio CD)4.5 stars
Having recorded a song quite as ubiquitous as "1234" which when attached to an advert for the I Pod Nano helped shift the little sound units by the millions, tends to be the defining "fact" of Leslie Feist's career thus far. Alternatively very clever people who read Amazon reviews know that this joyous little pop song is the proverbial tip of a very large iceberg when it comes to Feist's talent and what we have with her new album is the productions of some very powerful song craft that leads to the production of very precious metals.
Straddling the world between her indie roots in the great Canadian band Broken Social Scene and appearances on Sesame Street are all taken in her stride by Leslie Feist although on this new album there is too much for the Muppets to sing about. Indeed "Metals" is a darker beast than its predecessor (which also had its moments) but ultimately an altogether stronger and more mature album. It opens with the pounding "The bad in each other" a great folky song which sees Feist almost mixing the Fleet Foxes with Kate Bush to great effect. The next two songs are amongst the most haunting on the album and show her emerging as a major songwriting talent. First up is "Graveyard' with a tender vocal and an almost Tom Waits style backdrop full of horns and an extended exhortation to the inhabitants of the burial ground to "Bring them all back to life". The third song "Caught a long wind" has that sort of icy beauty that Sufjan Stevens has made such a trademark and is a stunning highlight. Alternatively "How come you never go there" is a light soulful blues ballad which stands in sharp contrast. The pivot of the album is "A Commotion" a thumping anthem of indie pop full of deep male chants, violins and thumping drums. This one may split the jury but it shows an artist prepared to take risks which largely work. More gentle are the lovely proceeding tracks "The circle married the line" and the sumptuous "Bittersweet Melodies". Your reviewers favourite track thus far is the five minute plus haunting slow jazz of "Anti Pioneer" a burning love song which would not be out of place on a Cat Power album.
Throughout the album Feist sings brilliantly no more so on the hushed alt country acoustics of "Cicada's and gulls" or on the ethereal closer "Get it get it wrong". Undoubtedly some may bemoan the lack of catchy radio friendly accessibility which previous songs like "I feel it all" and "My moon my man" had in spades. Indeed the Amazon download appears to omit two other tracks that are widely available namely the gothic blues of "Pine Moon" which Nick Cave should cover ASAP and the much more feisty soul of "Woe be" (answers on a postcard please?). Frankly while they are both great songs neither are hits waiting to trouble the charts. In the last analysis accepting that the vibe of "Metals" tends to locate it in more pensive corners which she explored on "The Reminders" Overall the feel of this album is autumnal and like the wonderful season that it captures Feist infuses "Metals" with the feeling that the possibilities of summer are gone, and the chill of winter is on the horizon. You would be foolish not to let this album soundtrack the forthcoming months.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 5 Oct 2011 22:00:45 BDT
Mr. H Chinaski says:
'Graveyard' and 'Caught In A Long Wind' have been glued to my CD player for three days now. Their grip is ever tightening.
This is indeed a wonderful record (her best so far). There are maybe a couple of tracks towards the end that could have been culled in order to give it that 'perfect 10' feel, but this is great stuff. The female singer-songwriter is fast becoming the sound of 2011 with Gillian Welch, Laura Marling, St. Vincent, PJ Harvey and now Leslie Feist all releasing superb LP's within the space of about 6 months.
Lets hope the next Tom Waits album 'Bad As Me' can even the score a little for the male counterpart.
In reply to an earlier post on 18 Oct 2011 19:27:30 BDT
Red on Black says:
Mr chinaski thanks for the comment. The new Tom Waits can be heard on badasme.com for the simple act of getting a code from Tomwaits.com. It is spectacular.
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