What makes a little more sense as to the absence of hearing the music is that, after the last album and tour, Feist felt "emotionally deaf" and took two years off. I mean, yeah, music is emotion and it takes a lot out of you. I know I've gone through some of these albums and just needed to listen to something completely different to feel better. I know it's not the same thing, but in my head, it makes this situation relatable. Anywhos, this time around, we're expecting more noise and use of "new and old instruments." There are apparently jazz and blues influences throughout, and music that she has worked on for years, even longer than things on her previous albums.
To follow along, check out the link to Spotify and stream the whole album.
We start things off with "The Bad In Each Other," and this almost modern country/folk feel once the guitar comes in. There is definitely some play with rhythms abound here, even before the vocals begin. I'm almost lost in the backing, so I haven't heard the lyrics yet. There's a male background though, which compliments the story throughout of bringing this side of each other out. Even Feist's voice has a cool twang to it (un-annoying). It's a bit dragging, but I don't know - maybe it all works. Interesting start for an album, but maybe order wasn't a big consideration.
"Caught A Long Wind" has sealed it for me - there's no fun to be had on this album. Guest she really was drained after that tour. Every part of this is down and I feel like there's just a drowning going on, or struggle to get back out. I guess it's the mood the title sets as well, just making it hard to breathe. These songs exist, and sometimes work so very right, but this one hurts, even with the gorgeous string job that almost redeems it. The lyric that helps is the end, where there's hope in risk - "took a deep breath; caught a long wind."
Okay, well, maybe there's some jazz beat going on after all for "How Come You Never Go There." Granted though, the subject is less than happy. It's a questioning of him because she's alone. "How come you never go there? How come I'm so alone there?" Bah, stupid close-to-home songs. He doesn't read this anyway. This definitely has the jazz influence we were promised at the start, but it's still dragging a little. I love the beat of the chorus, but the rest is tough.
Cute is a striking adjective as we move into "The Circle Married The Line." There's little bells involved here and there, and you almost sense that there's happiness embedded somewhere within it all. If you were looking for more classic-Feist sounds, I think this is probably it, but I'm speaking from a commercial standpoint of having only heard the big singles. This isn't as good as my memory serves, but it gets better as the song goes on. There's something there, for sure.
"Bittersweet Melodies" is completely true to its name. There's an incredible sadness that I don't think I've ever heard in a song that uses such major chords. Not to mention a tambourine. It's a perfectly interesting song lyrically as you progress through the lines and music. It's one I need you to hear for yourself in hopes of understanding.
It doesn't pick up much at all with "Undiscovered First." In fact, you can barely tell a song has started until she's gotten into singing. It picks up slightly in effort to grab your attention a little more. The chorus that comes in gives the song a slight bit more power and keeps things a little more interesting as we progress. It's a nice tribal chant of sorts, but maybe that's just those drums that are speaking to me.
"Cicadas And Gulls" is one that passed me by. I don't think my volume is up high enough to deal with this album. The voices and instruments blended extremely well together, and it's a track that requires no effort at all to hear, because it just exists in the air.
"Get It Wrong, Get It Right" is the final song on the album, and brings in a cool sounding array of musical instruments together at the start. It's still a very relaxing track. The sleigh bells, I think, are being used just slightly and definitely give a winter feel to the whole thing in parts. Actually, that's a great way to describe the album - very cold and dry, just as a winter day.
Added to my Playlist:
- "The Bad In Each Other"
- "A Commotion"
It was a very regular album for me, nothing to brag home about. I think it's a slow start to come back after a couple of years, and it's either trying too hard to be something weird or not living up to it quite enough. In all, I'm not terribly impressed, but the name is still there, and that's something I suppose.