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Feist - The Reminder

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The Reminder

Feist

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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 /TiVo

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The Reminder

Feist

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1
So Sorry
00:03:11

RENAUD LETANG, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lionel Darenne, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Gonzales, Producer, Drums, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Feist, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Interprète Vocal, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mandy Parnell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jamie Lidell, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Leslie Feist, ComposerLyricist - Mocky, Producer, ComposerLyricist - Thomas Moulin, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bryden Baird, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Robbie Lackritz, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jesse Baird, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2007 Polydor (France)

2
I Feel It All
00:03:39

RENAUD LETANG, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lionel Darenne, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Gonzales, Producer, Drums, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Feist, Producer, Acoustic Guitar, Interprète Vocal, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mandy Parnell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Leslie Feist, ComposerLyricist - Thomas Moulin, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bryden Baird, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Julian Brown, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Robbie Lackritz, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jesse Baird, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2007 Polydor (France)

3
My Moon My Man
00:03:48

RENAUD LETANG, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lionel Darenne, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Gonzales, Producer, Drums, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Feist, Producer, Guitar, Interprète Vocal, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mandy Parnell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Ohad Benchetrit, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Leslie Feist, ComposerLyricist - Thomas Moulin, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bryden Baird, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Julian Brown, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Spearin, Interprète Instrumental, AssociatedPerformer - Robbie Lackritz, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jesse Baird, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2007 Polydor (France)

4
The Park
00:04:33

RENAUD LETANG, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lionel Darenne, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Gonzales, Producer, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Feist, Producer, Guitar, Interprète Vocal, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mandy Parnell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Leslie Feist, ComposerLyricist - Thomas Moulin, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bryden Baird, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Robbie Lackritz, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jesse Baird, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2007 Polydor (France)

5
The Water
00:04:46

RENAUD LETANG, Producer, Mixer, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Lionel Darenne, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Gonzales, Producer, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Feist, Producer, Guitar, Interprète Vocal, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Mandy Parnell, Mastering Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Leslie Feist, ComposerLyricist - Brendan Canning, Composer - Mocky, Producer - Thomas Moulin, Assistant Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bryden Baird, Percussion, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer - Julian Brown, Electric Bass, AssociatedPerformer - Robbie Lackritz, Asst. Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel

℗ 2007 Polydor (France)

6
Sealion
00:03:39

RENAUD LETANG, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Nina Simone, ComposerLyricist - Gonzales, Producer - Feist, Producer, Interprète Vocal, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Leslie Feist, ComposerLyricist - Mocky, Producer - George Bass, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2007 Polydor (France)

7
Past In Present
00:02:52

RENAUD LETANG, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Gonzales, Producer - Feist, Interprète Vocal, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Leslie Feist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2007 Polydor (France)

8
The Limit To Your Love
00:04:20

RENAUD LETANG, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Gonzales, Producer - Feist, Producer, Interprète Vocal, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Leslie Feist, ComposerLyricist - Mocky, Producer - CHILLY GONZALES, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2007 Polydor (France)

9
1234
00:03:03

RENAUD LETANG, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Ben Mink, Producer - Gonzales, Producer - Feist, Producer, Interprète Vocal, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Leslie Feist, ComposerLyricist - Sally Seltmann, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2007 Polydor (France)

10
Brandy Alexander
00:03:36

RENAUD LETANG, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - RON SEXSMITH, ComposerLyricist - Gonzales, Producer - Feist, Interprète Vocal, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Leslie Feist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2007 Polydor (France)

11
Intuition
00:04:36

RENAUD LETANG, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Gonzales, Producer - Feist, Interprète Vocal, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Leslie Feist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2007 Polydor (France)

12
Honey Honey
00:03:25

RENAUD LETANG, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Gonzales, Producer - Feist, Interprète Vocal, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Leslie Feist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2007 Polydor (France)

13
How My Heart Behaves
00:04:24

RENAUD LETANG, Producer, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Gonzales, Producer - Feist, Interprète Vocal, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Leslie Feist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2007 Polydor (France)

14
Honey Honey (Live At Toronto's Danforth Music Hall)
00:04:37

Feist, Interprète Vocal, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Leslie Feist, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2007 CBC (Canada)

Album Description

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 /TiVo

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