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Cherry Pop

Title - 'The Reminder' (Cherry Tree)
Artist - Feist

Meet Leslie Feist - a stunning girl with a stunning voice, coming to you from Canada and currently gathering all kinds of starling reviews for her second offering " The Reminder."

Feist helped bring back heartfelt, subtle pop in her second album, "Let it Die." And in "The Reminder," this talented singer not only polishes up her sound, she expands it to include more colourful, expansive, complicated melodies that draw from jazz, pop, folk, a bit of funk, and some pretty little ballads.

The first song is an echo of her last album's style - a gentle guitar ballad, about someone who doesn't want to fight or break up. Feist murmurs through it, "I'm sorry, two words/I always think after you're gone... We're slaves to our own forces/We're afraid of our emotions/No one, knows where the shore is."

But then she switches over to a poppier tune, delightfully jangly little guitarpop edged with toy piano. "I Feel It All" is only the first of her musical explorations: lo-fi folk, tightly wound piano jazz, delicate keyboard ballads, and some kooky electrofunk.

But Feist also includes some of what she's strongest at , namely subtle pop songs like "Limit To Your Love," full of gentle piano, harp and guitar. And sometimes she goes WAYYYYY into her experimentation zone, like "Honey Honey," which sounds like a more melodious Joanna Newsom, or "Sea Lion Woman," a deliciously mad funky avant-electronic tune. I can hear other electropop "artists" grinding their teeth at this one.

It's hard to even find a flaw in "Reminder" - if there's anything to criticize, it's that it doesn't sound very cohesive. But in all other respects, Feist has only grown as a musician. She takes the synth-piano-guitar triad from her previous album, and lets it bloom with greater passion and beauty, not to mention complexity.

And she allows each instrument to shine in at least one song apiece, whether it's the thumpy piano, the tinkly toy one (it sounds like wind chimes), acoustic guitar, or epic ripples of synth. There's even some blaring trumpets and rattly rambourine in some songs. And she tries out virtually all kinds of good pop music, flavoured with everything from rock to jazz to avantelectro.

Feist's voice is as adventurous as the music - it's a pretty voice on its own, but she takes some vocal risks as well. She croons, purrs off-key, warbles a little, and even harmonizes with her own voice. And the songs she sings are simply lovely - they're beautifully written ("Stranded in the fog of woods/Looking like the winter bird"), and full of emotion. Sometimes it's as simple as telling a lover that there's a limit to his love for her, but still "I'll go, I'll go, I'll go/Out on the road/because there is no limit ... limit to my love."

Feist's third "Reminder" is an exquisite little pop gem, and though one or two of the songs don't fit, each one is a little beauty. Definitely a must-listen.





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