tue 17/09/2019

CD: Feist - Metals | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Feist - Metals

CD: Feist - Metals

After two years off Feist is back with a vigorous, consuming sound

'Metals': weightier than its more whimsical predecessor

After two years holed up in a Toronto retreat hiding from the fame and adulation that filled arenas for three solid years after her breakout album The Reminder went platinum, excitement has been mounting for Leslie Feist’s new recording, Metals. She has spoken about her struggle to write it after exhausting herself touring, but the 35-year-old’s new material doesn’t disappoint. It is rockier, more melancholy and doesn’t have the same commercial charm as her last record - which is probably quite deliberate.

The Reminder was full of chirpy songs with lovelorn refrains and breathlessly whispered longing. Apple would never have chosen the now ubiquitous “1,2,3,4” to advertise its iPods had the song not spoken of romance, cut grass and girlishness. The new material is just as reflective and sadness is still the prevailing theme. But the core impact of loneliness, outward seeking and dissatisfaction is painfully penetrating this time.

Replete with hand claps, male vocals and the occasional roar of electric guitar, the album is nevertheless sparse. The title is supposed to refer to a return to earth and the elements, which Feist has represented with percussive clanging. But overall the reference is caught up in lyrics about wildlife and nature - most of which seem to be attacking her in some way. “Caught a Long Wind” is the standout track, with assured melodic resonance and only guitar and piano (and a few hand claps) to support Feist’s vocals.

The solitude of Feist’s retreat from public view pervades. “Cicadas and Gulls” is full of a scratchiness which turns to anger in a later track, “Comfort Me”. Blander songs like “Bittersweet Memories” and the “Mushaboom”-esque “The Circle Married the Line” are the most likely to serve as background music in ad campaigns. Overall Metals is weightier than its more whimsical predecessor. Commercialism may be off the menu, but Feist fans will not be disgruntled with this vigorous, consuming sound.

Replete with hand claps, male vocals and the occasional roar of electric guitar, the album is nevertheless sparse


Editor Rating: 
Average: 4 (1 vote)

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