Leslie Feist had the breakthrough sleeper hit of 2004 with Let It Die, allowing the Broken Social Scene and Kings of Convenience collaborator to be hailed as the “cool” Norah Jones. With her anticipated follow-up, The Reminder, Feist continues to do what she does best – mold torch songs mixed with the upbeat indie rock to spell “smooth.”
Where The Reminder starts off sleepy (“So Sorry”), Feist ramps it up with glowing indie (“I Feel It All”) and orchestrated loud rock (“My Moon My Man”). Where hushy ballads (“The Park,” “Intuition," "Honey Honey") are planted throughout The Reminder, Feist makes some bold experiments with “Sea Lion Woman” which combines live clapping and chanting, and “Past in Present,” which is a straight-forward rocker. “1234,” a sing-along ditty is arguably annoying, while the far-away whisper of“Brandy Alexander,” goes down slow, proving Feist is far from perfect on record.
Where the Billie Holiday and Kate Bush comparisons are easy, there are contemporary touches from Imogen Heap and Cat Power that make The Reminder a very “present” recording. The one failing of The Reminder is that it doesn’t live up to Let It Die, but in Feist’s terms, she’d rather be intimate than play “can you top this.”