Chris Donaghey
Reviews Editor
May 30, 2007
Buy it at Insound!
The Reminder The Reminder
May 1, 2007
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The Reminder

After perking up some ears in the underground with stints in Broken Social Scene and releasing a well-received debut album, Leslie Feist appeared ready to take on the rest of the music world at large. Her delicately nuanced and evocative vocals were possibly less assuming in a world of K.T. Tunstalls and Corinne Bailey Raes but with Norah Jones and Fiona Apple fading into smoky ether, the radios and record stores appear to be in need of an intellectually sultry chanteuse more than ever. So after a relatively short incubation period, The Reminder, a collection of gossamer tunes, has been unfurled. The resulting transformation undertaken by Feist is two-sided. At points, the album appears restrained, pushing her trademark poetics to the background in lieu of full, yet grainy instrumentation, resulting in AM radio quality songs about self-discovery via any means necessary. "Past in Present" is a textbook definition of that description, squeezing bloody sentimentality from stones of handclaps and vaguely alt-country guitar strums. The Reminder's other side is when the instruments being played and the instruments being realized through voice lock in with one another to create something much greater than a sum of their parts. Listening to "1 2 3 4" is an example of a rare experience: in just over three minutes, multiple genres, volumes, and facets of a woman's talent are all put front and center and no element strangles the other. Some may relegate this album to the elevators and bookstores of the world, assuming that this music functions best as an alluring background soundtrack for those in need of a simple escape. In fact, when taken as a complete piece, this release is a very positive step toward exploring the expansiveness of Feist's songwriting abilities. If Let It Die was autumnal in spirit and presentation, The Reminder takes the remaining seasons and coalesces them together quite nicely. Listeners may have a season they can deal without, but only the inconsolably jaded won't be able to find enjoyment in the remaining months.

Release date: May 1, 2007
Label: Cherry Tree
Rating: 8.0 / 10

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