Metals by Feist
If you were to ask about the soundtrack for the Apple brand, many would agree that it’s the song, “1, 2, 3, 4” by indie darling, Feist, which was featured in the company’s 2007 commercial for the iPod nano. That commercial alone personified a product and led scores to sing along to the whimsical tune. As a result, Apple and Feist alike moved millions of units and created an entirely new fan base for each. So it seems fitting that in the wake of Steve Jobs’ passing, Feist has released her much-anticipated fifth album, Metals, a compilation of stripped down tunes that pair the singer’s pitch-perfect voice with instruments ranging from horns to strings to the harp.
When asked in an interview with NPR why she chose the album title, the Canadian, multi-instrumentalist stated that, much like these songs, “metals can be un-forged and raw.” She continued, “They can also be highly refined,” which perfectly summarizes this collection of 12 songs.
The album opens with the track, “The Bad In Each Other“ that is slightly louder and grittier than the rest of the songs. Feist has said she wanted these songs to be “like an avalanche” that would “blast open the beginning of the album.” After the first track, it’s easy to miss the brilliant simplicity of the album—each song soothes like a beautiful lullaby, flowing effortlessly from one track to the next.
Suddenly, a third of the way through, the album’s first single, “How Come You Never Go There” delivers a subdued combination of blues and soul. Anchored by smokey-voiced background vocals, baritone brass and a grainy guitar solo, the song sounds as if you’re sitting in an empty auditorium while the band plays for solely you.
The following track, “No Commotion” appears to be Feist’s command to the listener (or possibly one particular person) to end any personal drama and flee the negativity that is often a part of life. One could easily assume that she was speaking directly to them.
Track eight, “Anti-Pioneer,” is a calm, quiet song that fits perfectly in the middle of the album despite the fact that it was written before her 2004 release, Let It Die. In an interview with Spotify, Feist said that she’d written the song nearly eight years ago but had been waiting for the right collection in which to place it. The song works seamlessly with this grouping of more recently composed songs.
The remaining tracks serenade the listener with intimate tunes that are quiet and airy. The album has been received with stellar reviews and high praise from critics. Metals is definitely worth all of it. Feist has delivered a compilation that is cohesive and sublime, like the many products that sprang from the mind of the man who brought her to the mainstream.