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MUSIC REVIEW: Feist’s new heaviness in 'Metals' weighs her down


Leslie Feist is without a doubt one of the most brilliant modern-day singers and the leader of female chanteuses today.

But the Canadian’s fourth full-length album, "Metals," is unsatisfying and certainly won’t further her fame previously gained through commercials anytime soon.

The once hidden, later mainstreamed, airy-pop voice is ever-so beautiful and dynamic throughout the album.

Yet a chorus, like that in “Cicadas and Gulls,” masks the star of the show herself.

Stranger’s voices are often added and build up to nothing. They overcomplicate the tunes and detract from the original emotion and splendor Feist holds on her own.

“Metals” opens with a janglin’ wild west war anthem which lays out dark vibes that continue over the next 50 minutes.

Feist’s well-known, breezy vocals are hauntingly beautiful over the melancholy and sometimes angry horns, piano and mallet instruments. Classically gorgeous violins always compliment Feist’s old-time vocals, which make for a friendly reminder of loved Feist.

“Anti-Pioneer” and “Undiscovered First” are full of elongated vocals, slow accompanying instrumentation and a dash of boredom. “Graveyard” features repetitious cries to “bring them all back to life” while “How Come You Never Go There” questions why Feist is “so alone there.” If these two songs were the only two of the depressingly beautiful sort on the album, it would be perfect, but the album is sad throughout.

“Woe Be” maintains a distinguishable simplicity which makes it another one of the better tunes. Her vocal abilities and always up-to-par harmonies, plus simple guitar parts equal the classic greatness of Feist.

Despite the unquestionably beautiful compositions, the album is emotionally weighty without being satisfying. It’s a continuous flow of one melancholy moment to the next, with the only pause being a moment of silence between tunes.

A bit more optimistic, though, and accepting of her sadness, “Bittersweet Melodies” is also a more simple composition that features a clarinet, bells, a piano, a dramatic violin and calm vocals.

It’s not that the album is bad; Feist can’t be bad. It’s the unexpected, sad, rainy day train ride vibe that throws off the scent of the once-swinging Feist belting “My Moon My Man,” and the wishing that singer would return.

Genre: Indie-Pop Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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