Review: Feist, ‘Metals’

Review: Feist, ‘Metals’: Aidin Vaziri | A leisurely four years after “The Reminder” made her a household name – she got to sing the breakthrough hit “1234” for Apple and Elmo – Leslie Feist finally gets around to issuing a follow-up. Time and space have tempered expectations for the fourth studio album by the Canadian singer-songwriter, who once earned the unlikely praises of OutKast’s Andre 3000 (“Her music is so beautiful,” he claimed) while inspiring a crop of sad-eyed romantic strummers with blunt bangs. “Metals” contains her most low-key set of songs to date, shedding the pop twinkle of its predecessor as well as that of her major-label debut, 2004’s Juno Award-winning “Let It Die,” in favor of terminally sad songs adorned with serene strings, mournful pianos and wounded choirs. The first single, “How Come You Never Go There,” has a deceptive blues kick, but its more subdued moments are a greater indicator of what the rest of the album is like, from the supremely intimate “Caught a Long Wind” to the barely-there folk number “Cicadas and Gulls.” There are a few jarring moments along the way – namely the barking men who punctuate the grungy verses of “A Commotion” – but for the most part this is the sound of Feist leaving the family living room behind and laying her soul bare out back for anyone brave enough to dig in. “When you comfort me, it doesn’t bring me comfort actually,” she sings on the raw, brutal “Comfort Me.” The “Sesame Street” gang, presumably, won’t be calling.

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