REVIEW: Feist – “Metals”

Feist / Metals / Arts & Crafts

When asked if she was ignoring music, Leslie Feist said, “I had a guitar but it was almost like a dog that had been kicked – I didn’t think I had anything to offer it”. After letting music go for almost a year, Feist questioned herself, wondering if music had indeed abandoned her but through what she called a “slow courtship”, the 35-year-old Amherst songbird broke free, with the long awaited creation Metals. From the grandiose bang of “How Come You Never Go There” to the sadness in the melodic disorder of “Comfort Me”, Feist is at home. Steered towards a darker tone that knows nothing of pop music, Metals is simple, glacial and picturesque. While most of the record’s material stems from past recordings (see The Reminder’s “Sea Lion”), it holds a lot of character with bleeding jazz numbers (“Anti-Pioneer”) to more piano-heavy professions (“Caught A Long Wind”) that cauterize those things called feelings when Feist unfolds and asks “Where will you go?”. Once you move past the emotion, you can’t help but understand it’s a bottomless pit with no sign of escape.

Even when she’s grasping a groove (“How Come You Never Go There”), guiding an outcry (“A Commotion”) or trying to explain herself (“The Circle Married The Line”), it’s as if Feist is never intimidated to tear down her walls a little. That alone seemed to be a missing ingredient to The Reminder. While it was a handful of life itself, Metals is more of the candle in the shadow, flickering to find a reasonably brighter side all the while being alone, vulnerable, encompassed by the dark itself. If there’s one recording that silently represents the album’s personality, it’s “The Undiscovered First”. A beat slowly swallows the emptiness of the room with a pacing melody and the warm thud of a drum kit before it grows in texture, adopting a bombastic horn section. Then the track’s rhythm gets wrung by the neck before rupturing into the most alternative rock hook you’ve ever heard Leslie Feist stand next to. And surprisingly, she’s not out of context as the chords rip with fury and class, reassuring the songwriter hasn’t lost it’s relationship with an instrument that once held a grudge against her. And admiringly, her voice hasn’t lost its modest bite either.

Download: “The Bad In Each Other”, “The Undiscovered First”, “Anti-Pioneer”

 

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