Feist

Pleasure

Interscope

Apr 24, 2017 Issue #60 - Father John Misty Bookmark and Share


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Nearing a 20-year music career, Leslie Feist has proven herself to be a force of nature since the release of her debut record Monarch in 1999. Flaunting raspy vocals and an emotionally raw look at love and longing, Feist has become a universal voice for the intimacy of relationships. Though Feist has remained under the radar the past few years (she was recently seen gathering backpacks for HIV-positive kids in Malawi), it seems she's used the time to look beyond herself, take a break from music, and hone in on her craft.

Six years since her last full-length release, 2011's Metals, Feist is back with Pleasurea record that showcases the Canadian singer/songwriter going back to basics with enigmatic finger-picked chords accompanying her standalone vocals. On Feist's fifth album, she's at her most vulnerable, fighting for and mourning a past lover. The cinematic title track (also the album opener) speaks directly to this trope, setting the tone of the recorda push and pull of a relationship. But Feist finds a playfulness with the back and forth as she lilts, "You don't have to admit it/It's my pleasure and your pleasure."

Pleasure the album flows cohesively and poetically. While "Century" stands out as one of the only anthemic pieces on Pleasureblasting a raucous chorus alongside a trippy voice-over from former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker that makes you feel like you're watching Planet Earthmost of the record feels like a double-edged sword and a message meant for one person in particular. On "I'm Not Running Away" and "Any Party," Feist's sweet, harmonic pleas show her determination to make a particular relationship work. But with "I Wish I Didn't Miss You," Feist's hollowed vocals magnify frustration in trying to reconcile. And with "Baby Be Simple," Feist picks up where "The Park" (from 2007's The Reminder) left off, with the singer/songwriter crooning longingly to the strumming of an acoustic guitar.

While there's no viral hit like "1234" on Pleasure, Feist exhibits some of her best work with just her vocals and a guitar. Looking back at the breadth of her work, both solo and with Broken Social Scene, it seems that that simpler pleasures seem to be better for Feist, making this album worth the wait. (www.listentofeist.com)

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