Album review: Feist – Metals

Metals, is Leslie Feist’s first album since The Reminder four years ago.

To start negatively, lead single ‘How Come You Never Go There’ and ‘Bittersweet Melodies’ are pleasant enough, but it is only the rhythms that stay in the mind long after the unremarkable lyrics and dull tunes have fizzled out in both cases. Even worse is ‘The Circle That Married the Line,’ a country-ish ballad with forgettable, well everything.

Those duff notes aside, the album opener ‘The Bad In Each Other’ is typical of the strengths of the album, strong percussion rhythms, melody that is both dramatic but suits a lyric that is more obviously bittersweet than in the track where with ‘bittersweet’ in its title.  ‘Graveyard’ is less bittersweet than death-life – that may not even be a word, but it was it would describe a lyric such as “The graveyard, the graveyard all full of light.” and others in that song.

The album’s two standout tracks are ‘A commotion’ and ‘Comfort Me.’ The insistent one-note piano opening of the former, along with the lyrics (“It stalked through the rooms/And then it tore the sheets off the bed”) and chanting of the title gives the impression of fear before  all is revealed (“If it rips you all apart, the grudge has still got your heart”) as the after effects of an emotional trauma. The bluesy ‘Comfort Me’ starts with a contradictorily powerful lyric  “When you comfort me/And doesn’t bring me comfort actually/When you comfort me” and then continues in haiku-like verses throughout (well, she calls them haikus – only in a very loose sense of that format) accompanied by a childlishly but misleadingly sweet melody.

Metals doesn’t have any songs as catchy as the iPod-nano advertising -‘1234’ or the utterly classy ‘My Moon My Man,’ from The Reminder, but overall it’s a more even album than its predecessor.

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