If you haven’t already nabbed the new Feist album – do yourself a favor and RUN, don’t walk, to your nearest computer (you’re already sitting here – go! go! go!) or local record store and buy it up! up! up! You will appreciate yourself for your gumption and good sense, I promise.
Upon first listen, you may quickly realize that Feist has taken this opportunity to move away from the happy, cutie-pie sound that characterized such previous hits as “Mushaboom” and “1234” and has extracted a more somber piece of her soul to share with you and me. The first track for instance, called “The Bad in Each Other”, is an insightful observation of a, shall we assume, not-so-great relationship. It is an upbeat lament wrapped in a Scotch/Irish kilt, buttered with violins. Have no idea what the heck that’s supposed to mean? Take a listen, and see. It has waltzed its way right into my heart and I already find myself humming it and making up the other half of the half-memorized lyrics (as well as making nonsense sounds such as “bernnn bididly bididly bernnn”… you’ll see).
Another favorite of mine is number three on the record called “Caught a Long Wind”. The piano sounds like you’re hearing it from under water, or from far down the hall – an effect that I love for this song. It’s a more hopeful, reassuring tune lyrically than some of the other tracks, but still melancholy and visual.
“Pine Moon” is the last track on the iTunes purchased album (apparently not included if you listen to the album on Spotify) and seems to be another “too bad this relationship thing isn’t working” song. It’s a slower, sadder, less rowdy discussion about the same love-bummer happening in Track 1. I imagine her singing this while sitting atop a derailed train car in some black night, a campfire crackling nearby, the other instruments and their players emerging slowly from the dark to accompany her bare guitar, a deep lake in the distance, the moon aglow above… a nice way to wrap up the album.
Overall, I appreciate the production and arrangement of this album – really delicate use of background sounds; bells, footsteps that turn into the next song’s drumbeat, male and female vocals. Very lovely and subtle. My only complaint is that it would sound better on vinyl… which isn’t really a complaint… but because I feel like it’s not cool to only say fantastic amazing things, I am going to continue calling it a complaint. Gotta throw some nay in there.
I feel like this is an album I have been waiting a long time for someone to release, and Feist has heard my cry. Thanks, Leslie Feist!
If this was a magazine cover, I would be quoted as saying: “… an album borne of heartache and doubt, and the trudging forward of life after love… full of universally identifiable feelings… a refreshing and excellent record.”