Album Review: Feist – ‘Metals’

A homespun gem of an album

She’s the one who did that iPod ad (‘[b]1234[/b]’). She also wrote that plinky-plonky song found playing beneath the opening [i]The Inbetweeners[/i] scene (‘[b]I Feel It All[/b]’). And even [a]James Blake[/a] plumped a pouty take on ‘[b]Limit To Your Love[/b]’ out the arse-end of 2010.

Leslie [a]Feist[/a] herself is much less ubiquitous. Suggest the million-selling singer is now a bona fide, prep-my-’copter popster and she’ll bat you away like a mosquito. And that’s why we like her: more than her hip hip-hop connections (as ever, her friend [a]Chilly Gonzales[/a] produces, this time alongside [b]Dominic “Mocky” Salole[/b]) or membership of cult collective [a]Broken Social Scene[/a], it’s her warmness and humanity that elevate [a]Feist[/a] from respectability into consummate niftiness.

There’s plenty of this homespun superstardom on fourth LP ‘[b]Metals[/b]’, forging weighty gems from heftier ore. Disguised as something your parents might listen to, the record is intricately melancholy (‘[b]Caught A Long Wind[/b]’) and dismally intense (‘[b]A Commotion[/b]’), all with a fragile-voiced glaze. “[i]When you comfort me/It doesn’t bring me comfort actually/True life in haiku/Imbalances of fate out of the blue[/i]”, riddles ‘[b]Comfort Me[/b]’, but top prize goes to ‘[b]Graveyard[/b]’, an ode to not being dead – its refrain steals into the sublime via what is surely the most elegant high-jump of melody this side of ‘[b]This Charming Man[/b]’. Her voice may be technically imperfect, but it’s gracefully and gently bursting with life.

[a]Feist[/a]’s increasingly substantial grasp of rumpled songwriting oomph fuses both into something removed from the flimsy ad-bound ephemera of yore, and where her earliest hit ‘[b]Mushaboom[/b]’ secured a swish Silent Night mattress-hawking deal, ‘[b]Metals[/b]’ is, in its own right, quite simply the cat’s pyjamas.

[i]Jazz Monroe[/i]



  • Director: Chilly Gonzales and Mocky
  • Record label: Polydor
  • Release date: 03 Oct, 2011

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