Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Feist- Metals(2011)

Feist- Metals

There is not a more powerful and distinct set of pipes in all of Indie music than those possessed by Leslie Feist, or know by most as only Feist. Ms. Feist has without a doubt one of the most beautiful and insanely powerful voices to have ever been recorded. But her Siren-like vocals also stand apart from most of her contemporaries for their uniqueness: the slight rattle and throttle she gives every note makes her voice stand out in a sea of incredible female singers. And she has ridden those golden vocal chords to the top of her profession, while becoming one of the most recognizable and beloved Indie stars in the world.

Metals is Ms. Feist's newest release, and it sticks closely to the sound she established with 2007's brilliant The Reminder: lo-fi, quiet and dream like Pop songs that act as vehicles for her voice to soar. Whether it is a bit of horns and violin on "The Bad In Each Other," sugary sweet instrumental Pop in "The Circle Married The Line" or smokey, run down bar themes "Anti-Pioneer," Ms. Feist shows that she can sing the holy hell out of any song, any genre and any emotion. Metals somewhat lo-fi production also does wonder for the album: compared to many of her squeaky clean contemporaries, Ms. Feist is the one who still seems to be recording at the local studio instead of the multi-million dollar music factory.

There really is no comparison to the sheer power of emotion that Ms. Feist unleashes with each note. The only one I can honestly make is to the legendary Joan Baez, although whether that is unfair to either party has been difficult for me to assess. Her voice is one that must be heard, but how much enjoyment you get from Metals will be on how much you enjoy amazing vocal performances. Ms. Feist is a singer who can match the best, but her song-writing is rarely as adventurous as her voice. Which is not to say she is generic: any songwriter who has the guts to write a pop song driven by the banjo(as she did with "1234") is not one who understands the meaning of the word safe. It is more that Metals is very similar to The Reminder musically, and The Reminder was very similar to Open Season. Ms. Feist has been playing with the same instruments and similar arrangements for 3 albums now, and it is clear that she may lack the conviction to take the massive changes that artists like Bjork and Joanna Newsom have been willing to make. It doesn't take much away from Metals, but it bares mentioning.

I was hoping for a slightly more adventurous release from Ms. Feist, but my issues are nearly pointless in the face of the overwhelming beauty of her voice. Metals works because Ms. Feist simply won't allow it to fail: she will merely carry the whole damn record on the back of her Siren Call. We should all be so blessed as to listen to, and appreciate, this voice that will not be silent.

Rating: 8.5/10

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