Posted by: Nathan | January 16, 2008

The Reminder Ceaselessly Surprises

J received Feist’s latest album The Reminder for Christmas this year, and we were both excited to hear it. Much of our music collection comes from me, so I’m glad when the wife gets tunes she enjoys. I was expecting the album to be middling-to-decent, but it’s quite a genial listen.

feist.jpgOur first encounter with Feist was that ubiquitous iTunes commercial featuring “1 2 3 4,”* that delightful song that’s getting plenty of radio play. I liked the song but didn’t love it until after giving it a listen on the album. What I thought were bubble-gum lyrics actually turned out to be quite insightful at times: “Sweet heart / Bitter heart / Now I can’t tell you apart.” It’s a wonderful retrospective on being a teenager. And the music is fantastic! Instruments on this track include (but are not limited to): guitar, banjo, piano, violin, drums, trumpet, clapping, and chorus. It’s well-arranged, swells at the right times, but it’s never overstated.

Many other tracks on the album are almost as pleasing, especially “So Sorry,” “The Park,” and “Brandy Alexander.” But the amazing thing about The Reminder is its endless variety. Each song is different from the last, and usually the difference is quite striking. There are love ballads, jazzy tunes, straight-up pop, and oddities like “Sealion” that made me want to play the track again to catch what I missed. In fine, all the songs are good listening and the style is delightfully varied. In an era of sloppy, clichĂ© pop music, Feist takes the time to write, perform, and arrange an album with that shows sensitivity and polish. It took me by surprise in an enchanting way. B+, 8.3/10.

*Sorry to link you to a goofy music video, but at least you can hear the entire song. The one complaint I have about this song is her counting to ten and skipping seven and eight. Yeah, you need those guys.

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Responses

  1. I was first introduced to Fiest by someone who told me “This is where that 1-2-3-4 iPod commercial song comes from”. But for some strange reason I hadn’t seen the commercial yet and had no idea what he was talking about. Still, I gave the album a listen (thanks SeeqPod.com!) and really liked what I heard. You’re right that seven and eight are sorely missing. Poor guys.

  2. Whoops, misspelled Feist. I feel better now.

  3. I know that this is a late comment but I only recently rediscovered your blog and I needed to give this an amen. I love Feist’s new album. All of the songs are wonderful. I think that My Moon My Man deserves a mention also though. Her music videos are also fabulous. So creative! I have I so say…I don’t really miss seven and eight. Sorry guys….


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