Feist: The Reminder

The Reminder

Without proof from infallible YouTube, I wouldn't have believed that Feist's songs could accompany big, choreographed dance numbers. The unassuming tracks on her third studio album are naturally charming, but to call them showtunes would be to attribute to them an overly aggressive confidence that runs in direct opposition to Leslie Feist's allure. With the album just out, the Canadian chanteuse already has two grand production numbers. "1 2 3 4," with its nursery rhyme bounce and campfire sing-along refrain, doesn't seem ready for a Busby Berkeley sequence with grand, overhead shots. But there she is, twirling in a sea of color-coordinated extras and lip-synching to vocals that register no louder than a coo. "My Moon My Man" is a more obvious ode to movement, as it chugs along to a piano thump with a backup chorus that chimes in like a train whistle. It's just a high-hat away from the light, cosmic disco that landed Goldfrapp in dozens of commercials.

Even the more subdued songs, like the pleading opener "So Sorry," prompt a gentle sway. While the Bee Gee's cover from 2005's Let It Die would have played nicely with the theme, the one non-original song here is a sinfully dark, hand-clapping choir arrangement of "Sea Lion Woman," a traditional tune Nina Simone once recorded as "See-Line Woman." Before you snicker at Feist's title, remember that sea lions were mistaken for mermaids before ships got close enough for disappointment to set in. Siren song indeed.