Let's get this out of the way first: there is no "1,2,3,4" on Feist's new record. There's also no "I Feel it All," "My Moon My Man," or anything that will likely get her played on iTunes commercials, covered by James Blake, or match the incredible cultural saturation her 2007 break-out The Reminder achieved. With the long-awaited Metals, Feist has instead delivered a good, if unremarkable record. First, the high points: Feist is trying some new things here, implementing horn lines, string sections, vocal overdubs, and some other interesting production touches that offer a nice change-up from her usual guitar/piano palette. It's the tracks that push farthest in this direction that stand-out, particularly on the stomping, intricately arranged opener "The Bad In Each Other," and in the swelling group-chant vocals that cap off "Undiscovered First." This isn't to say that the stripped-down songs — about half of the 12 total tracks — are no good; they're all perfectly pleasant in a classic Feist-y way. However, their sharp similarity to her earlier work only highlights the aforementioned point: there is no "1,2,3,4" or any stand-out of the bunch that elevates it above agreeable filler.
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