Something is telling us Feist’s social scene is anything but broken. After breaking through in a major way in 2007, the Canadian probably found all sorts of new friends, admirers & one-cell organisms in her mix; perhaps the 4 Grammy noms in 2008 had something to do with that, the spots with Stephen Colbert or maybe the SNL performance in late 2007. There is no danger Feist will ever occupy the pop territory of a Cheryl Crow but there was something just a bit unnecessary about the number of video vignettes that preceded this release (alright this one was kinda cool). Yes there are marketing campaigns/stunts far more egregious, but if the music is strong, they are frivolous and no one remembers them anyway.
The singer’s understated (dare we say, odd) sexuality becomes a bit more pronounced when listening to her expressive mezzo-soprano which is again on delightful display here. Hard to imagine a more pitch-perfect tone, that kind of vocal clarity doesn’t always compute in the indie-hip leaning world, so we have to call her a singer/songwriter.
Don’t expect to uncover the inadvertent power-melodies that made her the darling of the Nano & Verizon Chocolate campaigns. The serene minimalism remains but you won’t find a “1234″ or “I Feel It All” on Metals. The closest thing might be lead single “How Come You Never Go There,” one of two memorable cuts readily accessible (the other being the rather somber “Get It Wrong, Get It Right”).
Feist has found a way to make soothing music for frenetic times, fine if your soul feels 40+ but suddenly a bit one-note in lullaby land. This is not to say Leslie Feist will put you to sleep, her songwriting and structure are far too intricate and those classical scale flourishes demand attention.
There are male echoes on “The Bad In Each Other,” frequent collaborator Mocky most likely or perhaps Chilly Gonzalez. All the other ballads seem pretty asexual. Feist has a way of de-tuning the libido in her music while retaining allure, must be a Canadian thing; her space is not of the quick slap-and-tickle you e-pervs, much more enduring emotions at stake.
Nothing will blow you away here but a good listen taken in total. An album sensitive males will proudly have on hand (i.e., to perhaps help close the occasional, ahem, business deal). Even the grisliest grinder can use a dose of girly-girl contemp-folk (on occasion).
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