To my best friend and I—arguably the biggest lovers of fall to ever walk the earth—autumn means more than just the return of the Pumpkin Spice Latte and the plummeting of temperatures. It also marks the beginning of Leslie Feist season, the most wonderful time of the year. Suddenly, every spare moment we find is spent driving down the Blue Ridge Parkway, watching the foliage color changes and blasting the addictive tunes of this modern-day siren. However, since her last smash hit album The Reminder was released in 2007, we have been jonesing for some new material for quite some time. Yesterday, our dreams came true, when she released her new studio album, Metals, in which she has managed to strike as close to perfection as I believe music can get.
For those of you who have never indulged in the listening experience that is Feist, you are in for a treat. Her sultry, soothing, seductive tones ring clearly in a way that cannot even be described in words—however, aforementioned best friend has come as close as I have ever encountered with his comparison of her voice to a train whistle. Metals has a folksier sound than Feist’s previous albums, with unexpected melodies and riskily complex vocals, which she, as always, pulls off excellently.
The opening track, “The Bad In Each Other,” gives the album an upbeat start, with pop-bluesy riffs and strong percussion elements. The smoky quality of “How Come You Never Go There” has a beautiful jazzy appeal that is well executed and indicative of Feist’s style (especially on this album). “Bittersweet Melodies” is a beautiful, simple, and relatable piece, although not one of her strongest tracks overall. It gives off a wistful, unrequited love vibe—the grown up’s Taylor Swift song, if you will. “Anti-Pioneer” is the lyrical gem of Metals, with mind-blowing harmonies, a strong, sharp beat that pulls you out of the dreamy haze that Feist can often put you in, and such thought-inspiring passages as “when the flag changes colors, the language knows.” However, my two favorite tracks are “Graveyard” and “Get It Wrong, Get It Right.” “Graveyard” boasts a strong guitar opening and some of the most daring, cascading vocals and rhythm patterns that I have heard in Feist’s work. “Get It Wrong, Get It Right” is simple and sweet, with hymn-like qualities and ambient sounds that leave the shaping of the song experience mainly in the listener’s mind.
All the songs are lyrically strong, and just unique enough from each other to make a coherent whole. The array of instruments and sounds that are introduced into the work make for an album that is never boring and, in short, just delightful. Close your eyes and let her voice pour over you for a feeling akin to wrapping yourself in a blanket on a crisp fall evening. Or, I highly recommend that you do just that as you listen to this album. In all, Metals is an ethereally haunting whole that will prove addictive and leave you craving more of her beautifully nightmarish words—hopefully, we will not have to wait another four years for some more Feist.
Photo courtesy of http://www.consequenceofsound.net.