Archived Story

Feist dips into imagination

Published 4:43pm Saturday, October 15, 2011

After pop success, Feist’s fourth studio album seeks a more imaginative sound.

Feist captured mainstream popularity with “The Reminder.” Though “The Reminder” was her third album, it served as a breakthrough for the Canadian singer-songwriter with hit “One Two Three Four” — a song featured on a series of iPod commercials that earned its performer a number of awards and nominations.

Though “Metals” likely won’t produce an upbeat single like “One Two Three Four,” the album manages to stealthily gain force.

The album shifts between sparse, vocal-driven harmonies and expansive explosions of driving instrumentation.

“Metals” isn’t as direct as an album like Adelle’s “21.” It’s difficult not to compare Feist and Adelle.

Adelle’s voice is powerful and booming. Feist, on the other hand, sings in a distinctive falsetto-like trill that often sounds on the edge of cracking.

The two are vastly different artists, but both women stretch the range and possibilities of their voices.

Feist’s creativity is present throughout the album. On songs with minimal instruments, Feist and the backing vocals turn to a backing instrument.

But Feist’s music is much more than vocals, as the backing instruments strike many tones, from a more laid-back, almost bluesy feel on “How Come You Never Go There” to a more aggressive, direct approach on “A Commotion.”

None of the album’s 12 tracks are as likely to appear in a commercial, as “One Two Three Four” did.  A “One Two Three Four” repeat doesn’t seem to be the main goal here.

“Undiscovered First” perhaps best signifies the album, as it starts backed by a simple tambourine and drum beat that gradually evolves into horns and a spirited guitar closure.

Those expecting a top-40 repeat will be disappointed, but the songs are ripe with depth and creativity. However, the sound isn’t always instantly accessible.

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