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Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 2011 | Polydor (France)

Booklet Distinctions 5/6 de Magic - Sélection Les Inrocks
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French Music - Released January 1, 2011 | Polydor

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Pop - Released January 1, 2007 | Universal Music Division Polydor

Pop - Released January 1, 2006 | Universal Music Division Polydor

Pop - Released January 1, 2007 | Polydor

When Leslie Feist released her breakthrough album Let It Die, she became an indie icon almost instantly. Her pretty, sometimes melancholic love songs, her clear campfire voice, her vaguely jazz- and disco-influenced arrangements (highlighted no better than with her cover of the Bee Gees' "Inside and Out"), and her association with darlings Broken Social Scene wooed critics and music fans alike. Her follow-up, The Reminder, will serve as proof that Feist's success was no fluke, as the album contains more of the same sweet, introspective lyrics and chords that float around love and longing (or lack thereof) like cottonwood seeds in late spring. Because that's what The Reminder, like Let It Die, really is: a collection of warm, lazy music made for those summer afternoons that creep into evening before you realize it. Feist's voice is cleanly emotive as she sings lines like "There's a limit to your love/Like a waterfall in slow motion" (from "The Limit to Your Love"), "Piecemeal can break your home in half/A love is not complete with only heat" (from "Intuition"), or "Put your weight against the door/Kick drum on the basement floor" (from the upbeat "I Feel It All"), crooning confidently but with a weakness, a fragility that comes out during the most sentimental lines. But this can also be a drawback. At times, she borders on a kind of sappiness that seems better suited to Top 40 Matrix-produced pop songs than hipster-blog accolades. "We don't need to fight and cry/We, we could hold each other tight tonight," she breathes in the otherwise lovely "So Sorry," whose puerile rhymes are fortunately held up by the track's breezy sophistication. The same cannot be said however for "Brandy Alexander," which is too syrupy for its own sake (much like the drink on which it's based), with its repeated phrase "He's my Brandy Alexander" (juxtaposed with "I'm his Brandy Alexander") and "Goes down easy," as Motown-esque harmonies jump in to emphasize that last word. Why Feist, who displays her lyrical skills in tracks like "The Water," "My Moon My Man," and her reinterpretation of Nina Simone's "See-Line Woman" (incorrectly identified as "Sea Lion Woman"), "Sealion," believes it necessary to include such saccharine lines is confusing, and hints at the suspicion that while she undoubtedly enjoyed herself during the making The Reminder, she wasn't really challenging herself with the process. She follows the same path she took with Let It Die -- which, being as strong as it was, is certainly not the worst decision she could've made -- and does it well, which means that the album does end up a consistently good listen. But it also means that it's not much of a departure from what she's shown before. Who knows, Feist may be able to go on charming us by doing the same thing for eternity, but there may also come a point when we want something more, and it's still unclear if she'll be able to deliver it. ~ Marisa Brown

Pop - Released January 1, 2004 | Universal Music S.A.

Somewhere in between living with Peaches, playing guitar with By Divine Right, rapping with Chilly Gonzales, and singing with Broken Social Scene and Apostle of Hustle, Canadian songstress Feist started a solo career. Following up 1999's self-released Monarch, Let It Die was recorded in Paris between 2002 and 2003. The romance of the City of Lights glows throughout as a combination of folk, bossa nova, jazz-pop, and indie rock finds its place among the 11-track song list. She'll woo you with her sultry vocals throughout, a delicate and sweet voice that feels cozy. From the warm shimmy and shake of "Gatekeeper" and "Mushaboom" to the classy R&B grooves of "One Evening" and "Leisure Suite," Feist explores various musical worlds without getting lost. She reels you into different soundscapes and it's an exciting adventure. Dare yourself to imagine Patrice Rushen, Ivy's Dominique Durand, and Astrud Gilberto in a group, and that's basically the beginning threads of Let It Die. Feist never holds back sonically or musically; however, Let It Die isn't an extravagant first album. She's playful with her design and the overall composition flows nicely. Feist has varied styles and sounds just right, and that's what makes Let It Die the secret treasure that it is. Her rendition of Ron Sexsmith's "Secret Heart" is a cinematic outing for a dewy spring day. The Bee Gees' "Inside and Out" gets a foxy makeover for what is probably the album's finest moment. Feist's soft touch makes magic on these particular covers, and the bittersweet loveliness of Blossom Dearie's "Now at Last" ties it all together to make Let It Die a storybook romance. ~ MacKenzie Wilson

Pop - Released July 30, 2007 | Universal Music Division Polydor

Pop - Released January 1, 2008 | Polydor

When Leslie Feist released her breakthrough album Let It Die, she became an indie icon almost instantly. Her pretty, sometimes melancholic love songs, her clear campfire voice, her vaguely jazz- and disco-influenced arrangements (highlighted no better than with her cover of the Bee Gees' "Inside and Out"), and her association with darlings Broken Social Scene wooed critics and music fans alike. Her follow-up, The Reminder, will serve as proof that Feist's success was no fluke, as the album contains more of the same sweet, introspective lyrics and chords that float around love and longing (or lack thereof) like cottonwood seeds in late spring. Because that's what The Reminder, like Let It Die, really is: a collection of warm, lazy music made for those summer afternoons that creep into evening before you realize it. Feist's voice is cleanly emotive as she sings lines like "There's a limit to your love/Like a waterfall in slow motion" (from "The Limit to Your Love"), "Piecemeal can break your home in half/A love is not complete with only heat" (from "Intuition"), or "Put your weight against the door/Kick drum on the basement floor" (from the upbeat "I Feel It All"), crooning confidently but with a weakness, a fragility that comes out during the most sentimental lines. But this can also be a drawback. At times, she borders on a kind of sappiness that seems better suited to Top 40 Matrix-produced pop songs than hipster-blog accolades. "We don't need to fight and cry/We, we could hold each other tight tonight," she breathes in the otherwise lovely "So Sorry," whose puerile rhymes are fortunately held up by the track's breezy sophistication. The same cannot be said however for "Brandy Alexander," which is too syrupy for its own sake (much like the drink on which it's based), with its repeated phrase "He's my Brandy Alexander" (juxtaposed with "I'm his Brandy Alexander") and "Goes down easy," as Motown-esque harmonies jump in to emphasize that last word. Why Feist, who displays her lyrical skills in tracks like "The Water," "My Moon My Man," and her reinterpretation of Nina Simone's "See-Line Woman" (incorrectly identified as "Sea Lion Woman"), "Sealion," believes it necessary to include such saccharine lines is confusing, and hints at the suspicion that while she undoubtedly enjoyed herself during the making The Reminder, she wasn't really challenging herself with the process. She follows the same path she took with Let It Die -- which, being as strong as it was, is certainly not the worst decision she could've made -- and does it well, which means that the album does end up a consistently good listen. But it also means that it's not much of a departure from what she's shown before. Who knows, Feist may be able to go on charming us by doing the same thing for eternity, but there may also come a point when we want something more, and it's still unclear if she'll be able to deliver it. ~ Marisa Brown

Alternative & Indie - Released January 16, 2012 | Polydor

Pop - Released January 1, 2004 | Universal Music

Pop/Rock - Released January 1, 2004 | Polydor (France)

Pop - Released April 28, 2017 | Polydor

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Pop - Released April 28, 2017 | Polydor

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You've got to hand it to Feist: beginning your first record in six years with a pregnant pause is pretty ballsy. The teasing, introductory silence is answered with lead single "Pleasure," which refuses to play to expectation. Much like her last record, Metals, eschewed her reputation as a creator of indie pop smashes like "1234" and "Mushaboom" through a series of moodily atmospheric pieces, Pleasure is yet another progression. The title track is a lusty take on raw, bluesy rock that echoes PJ Harvey at her most mischievous and playful. Similarly, the follow-up single, "Century," is full of staccato punkish swagger that leads into a rousing and earnest chorus: "Someone who will lead you to someone/Who will lead you to someone/Who will lead you to the one/At the end of the century." There's barely time to digest this shift before Jarvis Cocker's dulcet tones appear, the effect simultaneously humorous and dramatic. But nothing is quite as alarming as the way the song ends: like someone cut the power, lights out. The unceremonious conclusion tells you a lot about the record as a whole and Leslie Feist's rejection of neat, contented endings. Structurally, Pleasure is consistently surprising, as compositions lead you to expect a certain progression, only to veer wildly in another direction. By comparison, the unabashedly romantic "Any Party" is all the more beguiling for its simplicity. Led by an acoustic guitar played loosely and passionately, she croons "You know I'd leave any party for you/Sugar I got no question it was the right thing to do." The production is raw, but not in a crude sense; rather, the rounded echo and persistent hiss make it sound like she's performing these songs in your living room. The lack of polish lends the record intimacy, warmth, and immediacy that make tracks like the heart-sore "I Wish I Didn't Miss You" all the more affecting. Vocally, Feist has never been in more dexterous form. She delivers the desperate lines "I felt some certainty that you must have died/Because how could I live if you're still alive" with a disarming intensity; on the beautifully bruised "Baby Be Simple" she sounds exposed like never before via whispered tones. Time and desire weigh heavily on the record. But ruminations on past, present and future are left bereft of narrative closure, for as she sings "A man is not his song/And I'm not a story." That's not to say she doesn't understand longing for tidy summations. The most stirring moment on the record is the call and response between Feist and choir: "The man is not his song/Though we all want to sing along/We all heard those old melodies/Like they're singing right to me" -- within which she reflects the powerful need to make connections, and our attempts to cheat mortality through the permanence of art. Feist has made her sex-and-death record, and in turn she has created her boldest statement yet. It's messy, confusing, thrilling, and of course, filled with pleasure. ~ Bekki Bemrose

Alternative & Indie - Released August 29, 2011 | Polydor

Pop - Released January 1, 2008 | Polydor (France)