Feist
The Reminder


4.5
superb

Review

by fogza USER (18 Reviews)
June 21st, 2019 | 14 replies


Release Date: 2007 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Gently pleasing enough to host a dinner party to, and rich and rewarding enough to listen to solo with the morning after dishes.

After The Reminder's release, much was made of the use of '1234' in an Apple ad, which I found puzzling. One connection I could make is that as is often said about Apple products, the record just works. There's a ramshackle, organic spontaneity to it, which balances out all the love and care that went into perfecting these songs.

'I feel it all' is a masterclass in indie pop songwriting and arrangement - opening so strongly with scrappy guitar strumming, then falling away into strident drums with so much space for the vocals. Tiny flourishes of bell-like sound, warm guitar swirls, and later bubbling piano swells. The bridge changes the exuberant feel of the song, moving through a passage of memories and obstacles to the fitting climax of decisiveness.

All of the songs work on their own, but have a certain cohesiveness - some feel like vignettes about key moments in a relationship, some feel like the post-mortem. Lyrical content can seem immediate, like on the cool piano romp of 'My moon my man', and switch up to examining regret and our perception of our memories, like on the brilliant twisting 'Intuition'. This track seems to be the emotional centerpiece of the album, a loose acoustic song that adds somber horns as support to the gathering of thoughts between the verses, finishing with unexpected choral backing on an otherwise stark 2:00 a.m. rumination on doubt and significance. Feist's warm voice is sometimes fragile, like she's singing into resistance, but imbued with the depth to overcome it. Nothing is out of place, and you'll be surprised on how concise it is, while taking you so far.

There's so much variety here - the hand clap gospel of Nina Simone cover 'Sealion', the playful light jazz balladry of 'So Sorry', the sweeping light rock of 'Past In Present'. '1234' runs with jaunty banjo inflected marching band swing. It's fantastic just as a single, but also ties back to the album themes of how we look at the past and the bittersweet nature of young love. 'Brandy Alexander' is peppered with finger snaps and spare bass percussion to keep the beat to this wry little song - picture a smoky lounge, an accompanist, and the club singer ruing that we cannot choose who we love.

The Reminder is an easy album to love on the surface - the songs are expertly sculpted and accessible, the voice is beautiful, the arrangement is tasteful, and the production is restrained. There's depth here too, the feeling of looking through that shoe box of old photos, or running through those stories from the past to check - could we have done better? Could we have expected more from others? What should we let go? Have we learnt anything?



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user ratings (431)
3.7
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
bigguytoo9
June 21st 2019


739 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Bought this when it first came out, was a joy to listen too back then. I dont think I would put it on now though.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2019


25751 Comments


Woah what, this didn't have a review?!

Digging: Susumu Yokota - Symbol

fogza
June 21st 2019


471 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I know, crazy right?

fogza
June 21st 2019


471 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Hey big, judging from your rating count, I figure you don't have the time to listen to many records more than once lol.

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2019


25751 Comments


Oh no, I don't normally check and rate an album unless I plan on listening to it multiple times! I sometimes one-listen rate stuff to keep track of it in my database, but the majority gets a fair amount of attention. Should probs get on this tbh, Feist in BSS is the bomb

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
June 21st 2019


25751 Comments


Also your Seventh Tree rating makes me sad

Point1
June 22nd 2019


812 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Very weird that this didn't have a review. My go-to autumn morning album.

fogza
June 22nd 2019


471 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Well I did like Eat yourself, but as a whole the album didn't ever click for me.

Chambered79
June 22nd 2019


534 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh man forgot about this gem

Point1
October 19th 2019


812 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

this is really great, even if the last few songs are a bit boring. Going to bump this on the strength of the first 35 minutes.

fogza
October 20th 2019


471 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Point1, did you really find Intuition boring?

mynameischan
Staff Reviewer
October 20th 2019


1604 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

i'm almost certain this had a review before. someone must have had it deleted.



haven't revisited this in a long time. might have to today.

zakalwe
October 20th 2019


30859 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

This came out 12yrs ago? Blimey.

fogza
October 20th 2019


471 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I was truly big time surprised this wasn't reviewed when I looked it up. So you're probably right.



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