Parents and children! Democrats and Republicans! Dogs and cats! Rejoice! For here we have a record for everyone! If you don’t like Leslie Feist’s new indie-folk long-player, then guess what? You’re a terrorist! You cork your bat! You root for the fascist Yankees! Asshole!
Because holy moly, what a great batch of simple, precisely arranged love songs—expertly produced, delectably sung—The Reminder turns out to be. Feist sounded capable on her debut, 2004’s Let It Die, but here she sounds like a lemon meringue pie: fluffy, sour, and sweet all at once. You know a vocalist is in a zone when just hearing her take a breath is a mini-romance all its own. Throw a dart, hit an example: “Limit to Your Love” courses like something underwater, delicately churning with doo-wop backing vocals, a violin, a bassoon (?), and our heroine turning the lyric “Right down the road” into its own little journey, a carriage-and-buggy situation, stealin’ kisses and shit.
Her surfeit of talent notwithstanding, Feist’s major-label deal is likely the result of the suits hoping for another Norah Jones. Well, they found her, and that ain’t a bad thing. (Terrorists don’t like Norah Jones, either.) Feist projects that perfect balance of courage and vulnerability, her lines charging out proudly before retreating, wounded. Throw another dart: “It’s impossible to tell/How important someone was/And what you might have missed out on/And how he might have changed it all/And how you might have changed it all for him/Did I miss out on you?” Listening to this thing is like watching a pitcher throw a no-hitter.
Feist plays Town Hall with Grizzly Bear June 11 and 12, the-townhall-nyc.org.