Doing her own, bleak thing

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 01 January, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 01 January, 2012, 12:00am


If you were one of the millions who bought Feist's third album The Reminder solely on the strength of 'the iPod song', 1,2,3,4, her latest album may come as a bit of a surprise, if not a disappointment. That's not to say Metals is bad; 35-year-old Canadian Leslie Feist just panders less to mainstreamers, and does exactly what she wants.

Metals is a collection of raw, pared-down, unapologetic tunes that draw on folk, country and jazz influences to convey their vaguely gloomy messages about love and the failure thereof.

Opener The Bad in Each Other is an upbeat, country-lite track filled with stomp-inducing drums and rather jolly guitar strumming. It's a misleading start, as it's one of few uptempo numbers here; the only other one that could possibly inspire you to dance is A Commotion (although the random man shouting in the chorus may drive you to fast forward before you've started).

Second track Graveyard is a better representation of the album as a whole, layering gossamer-fine vocals and introspective, poetic lyrics over simple, swirling melodies.

This is a perfect album to play in the background - the gentle melodies and Feist's fragile voice won't interrupt concentration or conversation. But it's a grower, and deserves multiple listens, as well as a close study of the lyrics. Probably best to steer clear if you're feeling tearful, though.