Metals (Cherrytree / Interscope)
Reviewed by Melanie Haupt, Fri., Dec. 30, 2011
While Metals, Leslie Feist's fourth full-length album, lacks the playfulness and élan of 2007's The Reminder, which gave us "1234" and "I Feel It All," it may actually be a far more precious document. Where those songs represented the buoyant marriage of indie sensibilities and a sweet pop tooth, Metals lacks any one track that provides that frisson of sheer pleasure provided by bubble gum with indie cred. Metals is darker, more contemplative, heavier, a heady, atomic blend of folk-pop and emotional menace. Here's mercury with "Undiscovered First," the most powerful song here. Its climax swells with rage, clanging and rattling with stomps and tambourines that embody the mental noise of a woman dissatisfied with her emotional lot. "Comfort Me" speaks the dense truth of iron when Feist sings, "When you comfort me/It doesn't bring me comfort actually." "The Bad in Each Other" is copper, conducting heat and electricity from the mutual wounds inflicted by good men and good women upon each other. Recorded in both Big Sur, Calif., and Toronto, Metals is a deeply feminine examination of love, nature, and humanity that reflects both the expansiveness of the end of the continent and the gritty patina of modern urban existence.