Thursday, May 3, 2007

Feist - The Reminder

Leslie Feist is one of those women that’s probably cooler than any woman you’ll ever meet in your life. She started playing music in a punk band. Their first gig? Opening for The Ramones.
Her next stop was performing with Peaches, who re-named Leslie, Feist Bitch Lap-Lap before she joined up with the Canadian collective Broken Social Scene.
Even during her work with B.S.S., Feist found the time to contribute backing vocals on other releases while managing to release a few solo albums on her own.
The Reminder, Feist’s third solo album overall, may be the record that gains Leslie enough attention that she won’t be associated with her work on other records any longer; it’s an album that’s stunningly original and very much the product of a woman who’s been very generous with her talents in the past. She could have easily kept them all to herself and done very well by them.
And I’m expecting her to do very well on her own.
So do the majors: The Reminder is being released through Interscope, while her previous releases have gone through the great indie, Arts & Crafts. I’m not faulting Interscope for showing interest as I’d expect the album to become one of those efforts that will be cited for years to come. After one look at the video for the first single, “One Two Three Four,” it seemed fairly easy to imagine this album to become the year’s out of left field hits.
Her voice contains a lot of hints of another Canadian, Joni Mitchell, but without the boring pretension that plagues a huge part of Joni’s work.
Part of the reason why is because Feist sounds so utterly convincing in every single song on The Reminder. There’s not a hint of anything being overly produced, even though the arrangements have obviously been meticulously thought out.
And above the arrangements are the sweet, not-too-refined vocals of Leslie herself. After being one of indie’s best kept secret for many years, it now seems pretty certain that her time spent working on other projects may have to take a back seat to her own material. Judging from how good The Reminder is, that’s not a bad thing at all.

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