The first time Feist’s music was on the radio, the artist felt as though she were suspended in disbelief. You can imagine how it would feel to be in that position, I’m sure. It has to be fantastic! Ever since, she has been creating puzzles through her music for us all to try to solve, including herself.
Her sophomore release, Metals, was recorded in a studio where the only source of heat was a crackling wood stove, and if you listen carefully, you can hear it in the recording. Feist sets an ambient stage for us; just the song titles alone will reach out to something inside you and make you feel deeply sad. There is a frustration; it is a declaration rather than her mulling over something. What she notes is that she lives through her songs by playing them live over and over again. She hears the things she has planted into her songs. She clearly lives through her music and reinterprets her own songs as she replays it and wants you to be careful to not let it lead you through these paths in your brain where you are picking it apart constantly. She says that these things hold true over and over again; when you listen to a song and hear something that applies to your life and later when you revisit the song again you can still find something that rings true to your current situation, every time.
The first song on the album is “The Bad in Each Other” and it sounds and feels different from her other songs, as it packs an emotional punch, a heaviness. It begins with a bashing of the bones style of percussion and it is the frame work she used to build the rest of songs on for this album. You’ll recognize her guitar playing as soon as you hear her signature sound. It is a deeply, soulful song with a big ending. Horns, guitar and native sounding drumming, along with male and female voices help to make it a well rounded, deep reaching song.Feist – Metals by Interscope Records
“Grave Yard” is a dark titled tune turned sing-a-long. If you don’t know anything about “the Day of the Dead” in Mexico, it is a day where the locals take an opportunity to bring their memories back to life and honor their loved ones who have passed away. Yes, it is deeply sad to lose someone but it’s not the end, we need to remember that these people were very much alive at one time. It’s a bit like our typical imagery of death, which is dark and very sad, however Feist wants to lighten this image for us and that is why this song is so amazing and unexpected. Her lyrics “Bring them all back tonight” isn’t about a resurrection, it’s about remembering. The music is just what you would expect it to be, fitting the title it is very low and thoughtfully plotted out but her sing along tune fills our thoughts with life past or present.
“How Come You Never Go There” is a part of a modern puzzle that we are all faced with. It was her first song released for this album, which she had no choice over she says. She felt like it was “a baby bird being pushed out of the nest without its brothers and sisters to support it.” It’s a part of a message; it’s not the truth when it stands alone. This album is best listened to in its entirety. This particular song will appeal to Tori Amos fans worldwide. The piano, the raspy, strong yet vulnerable voice of Leslie Feist will lure your thoughts to join in and explore the paths of your memories.
“When Circle Meets the Line” is a really lovely song. Again, it is all a part of a puzzle that Feist wants us to solve for ourselves. To take away from it what it means to us individually. It was all built at once and all the songs refer to each other one way or another. Their connections will leave some of us asking ourselves life questions of our own, what does this mean to me? What does this mean to you?
“Comfort Me” – “when you comfort me it doesn’t bring me comfort actually” is a declaration for Leslie Feist. She says that “the universe recycles things and feels that we’ll all be in the same place 300 years from now as we are today.”
“And the telephone is always ringing” does she have those times where she just wants to be left alone? She says yes of course and often loses her phone. I recommend taking a page from her life and doing the same — but first buy her album and take it into seclusion with you.
Review by Kayt Westerlund