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Feist:: The Reminder (Album Review)

As I listened to this in a hotel bed the other night, it felt as though I stopped breathing for at least a few seconds. This probably means I should describe The Reminder as breathtaking. But that would be cheesy. So let’s try this: Feist is now that rare artist in complete control of her talent. Where Let It Die now seems like a scattershot experiment, The Reminder focuses and expands, as Feist narrows in on a trademark sound. In this way she can write a swaggering rock song (I Feel It All), personify quiet heartbreak (The Park), make a Nina Simone cover her unyielding signature and use another writer’s tiny fragment to build a joyous pop song (1234, which borrows from New Buffalo’s Sally Seltmann), but never sound anything less than remarkably controlled and singular. At this point, Feist could sing Berlin’s classic Take My Breath Away and uncover previously unrealized nuance. And that – with all due respect to Jessica Simpson – is a high compliment.