After living as an expatriate in Paris and traveling across three continents in 33 months, Leslie Feist’s newest album, ‘The Reminder,’ came to fruition because of ‘how her heart behaves.’
Though more balladesque and melodically complex than her 2004 release, ‘Let It Die,’ Feist still retains the jazzy folk and pop sounds that made that album a success, along with a few surprises. ‘The Reminder’ begins with her sweet and gentle voice in ‘So Sorry,’ an apologetic piece between lovers. As she switches to the next track, though, Feist shows that life goes on in the upbeat and spirited ‘I Feel It All,’ in which she explores folk, funk and pop.
Another upbeat piece is ‘My Moon, My Man,’ which has a heavier jazz feel. Just as oxygen and water are vital for human life, experimentation and exploration are necessary for a musician to grow, and Feist does well on this front. In ‘The Park,’ after several failed attempts to capture the chirping of songbirds on her La Frette mansion’s old stone patio, Feist finally got what she wanted by recording birds in a neighborhood in Toronto.
In ‘Sea Lion Woman,’ a swinging homage to Nina Simone’s 1964 version, Feist retains the hand-clapping from the original, but her voice is like a jumpy whisper that dances with the mini-gospel choir singers in the background. ‘Honey, Honey’ is bit harder to tack down but Feist’s mixture of harp and synths makes for an interesting listen. The allegorical lyrics and gently pulsing sounds of Feist’s vibraphone and piano make ‘The Water’ hauntingly mesmerizing.
‘The Reminder’ isn’t an album meant to be rushed. No, it’s not a fast-paced, adrenaline-pumping record. Like some of the best things in life, ‘The Reminder’ is meant to be taken slowly and savored.