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Friday, May 4, 2007
LISTENING POST: CD REVIEWS
Feist "The Reminder"
By JOE KERN
Leslie Feist traipses the map for inspiration, literally and figuratively. Indie rock and its melange of alternatively low- and hi-fi sounds comes through in the Canadian's music and in her moonlighting gig with Broken Social Scene, one of that aesthetic's most convincing purveyors. But Feist spent most of the first half of the 2000s in Paris, and 2004's "Let It Die" shows the influence with much of the album given over to cafe-style acoustic jazz and other sounds many Anglophones only experience in French movies (although there is more than a passing nod to slick 1970s pop).
"The Reminder" finds Feist sonically — and physically — shifting back in the Canadian direction, with perhaps an even greater eclecticism than before. As always, she is no mere tourist; there is an essential Feistiness to everything she does, in her phrasing, in the alternately mournful and playful catch in her voice, and in the way she tailors a unique production to each song. With a Feist album you know you are in the hands of a confident, guiding intelligence, and while she is not nearly as leftfield as, say, a Bjork or a Joanna Newsom, her music is no less an artistic statement.