Feist - The Reminder (Cover Artwork)


The Reminder (2007)

Arts & Crafts

Leslie Feist's third proper album under the recording name of Feist, The Reminder, is a perfectly produced, celebratory festival of Leslie's vocal command and restraint. The 13 songs range from pop to folk and country to rock, with each song seeming to take its instrumental cues from Feist's vocal delivery. While each song seems like it was written vocal melody first, that is not to imply that The Reminder is an album of vocal exercises, for within, the listener will find songs destined to be stuck in your head, songs requiring attention to detail, songs of soft sounds...but most importantly, you will find good songs.

Leslie's songs and voice shine on The Reminder, but it is the production that takes this from being just another female singer/songwriter album to a plateau of greatness that could birth a magnificent career.

The production of The Reminder, done mainly by Gonzales, is a clinic on how effective under-production can be. The simple addition of keys in "I Feel It All" bring the song out of its acoustic rock beginning into a fully realized light rock song, and damn if it's not catchy. "My Moon My Man" is the closest Feist comes to straight-ahead pop, but again the song manages to sound full based off the strength of Leslie's voice and the (not overdone) use of keys over a backing of guitar, bass, and drums. "The Park" shows off the use of a brass section for chord changes, not seen often enough in modern music (think slow Tom Waits songs), and is backlit by the sounds you would actually hear in a park: water, birds, chatter.

The only problem I have with this album is on the tracks "Sea Lion Woman" and "Honey Honey," which feature a backing of vocal tracks for part of the instrumentation. On an album already so dominated by the strength of Leslie's voice, I can't help but feel that adding vocals into a song as an instrument is just a little too much.

I really can't say enough about how good songs like "Past in Present," "1,2,3,4" and "I Feel It All" are, not just in the clarity of production, but in the simple genuine beauty that these songs possess. The Reminder has something for everyone, and no matter what mood you are in, there is a part of this album destined to put a smile on your face.