Monday, July 16, 2007

Feist - The Reminder

The Reminder (CD) – Cherrytree/Interscope

The danger in anyone’s covering the traditional "See-Line Woman" is that one can’t help but compare the results with Nina Simone's incantatory cover of the song, but on her rewarding new album The Reminder, Leslie Feist clears that hurdle with a great version. Spelled "Sealion” here, the song is based on a field recording from the 30s and its spelling has varied ever since. Feist’s version folds her skipping vocals into a convincing mélange of handclaps, minimalist glitch keys, country guitar and eventually throbbing rock. She further cements her considerable abilities throughout this, her third release, with compelling performances of her own material, such as “I Feel It All” and her gorgeous duet with Eirik Glambek Bøe (Kings of Convenience) on “How my Heart Behaves.” Feist’s voice is both strong and sensual, and she employs both of those traits to great effect on the pounding, propulsive “My Moon, My Man” and amidst her sighing vocals on the seductive "Honey Honey." The Reminder also features some superlative collaborative work, notably “Limit to your Love,” which Feist wrote with Jason Charles Beck and “1 2 3 4,” which she wrote with Australia’s Sally Seltmann. With fellow-Canadian Ron Sexsmith, she produces “Brandy Alexander,” which begins as a simple pretty tune, but eventually dissolves into gorgeous twinkling vocal fragments. - Robert Stribley

This review was originally published in Skyscraper Magazine, Issue 25 (Summer 2007)

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