World Cafe

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Feist - Metals - Cherrytree / Interscope

Two things immediately come to mind upon the arrival of Feist’s new album Metals. First, where has she been? It’s been roughly four years since her breakthrough album The Reminder was released. And second, how will she respond after the massive success of that album and more specifically her numerical anthem “1,2,3,4”? The first question is easier to answer. After years of touring, some time to decompress and step out of the spotlight seems only fair and appropriate. And as you dive into the new album Metals, the answer to the second question becomes clear.

It is obvious that Feist hasn’t gotten caught up in the pressure of heightened expectations. But immediate Metals is not. For the Canadian songstress, it’s an album about staying true to her own musical guidelines. Don’t search for the next “1,2,3,4” because you won’t find it. Nor will you be disappointed. For Feist, Metals moves forward and avoids the trap of trying to recreate the past. That’s not to say these songs aren’t catchy. The lead single on “How Come You Never Go There” is an understated earworm of a song that crawls deeper into your psyche after each listen. “A Commotion” is one of the album’s more interesting arrangements that stirs up the intensity and is bound to be an on-stage favorite. Yet, it really is the delicacy and beauty of her voice wrapped around a collection of intriguing and nuanced arrangements that appeals on Metals.

You can’t help but listen to Metals and feel a bit relieved. The level of success that followed the last album was certainly a bit unexpected. And rather than try to shoot for that same status, Feist decides to stay on her own course. Metals boasts that artistry and beauty that we’ve come to expect from Feist in a set of songs that gets more compelling with every listen.