CD Review of Let It Die by Feist

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Let It Die
starstarstarstarhalf star Label: Interscope
Released: 2005
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Sometimes hype is just hype, and sometimes hype is justified. With Canadian singer and songwriter Leslie Feist (who just goes by her last name), the hype is justified and then some. Feist and her major label debut, Let It Die, are the vocal and musical equivalents of a good wine—smooth going down, but strong enough to leave its listener in a euphoric buzz almost immediately. Sonically, Let It Die could fall into the pop/rock or even smooth jazz formats, ala Sade. But there’s so much more to this debut than pigeonholing it for radio. Over the course of the last five years, Feist has worked with or been linked to a wide range of artists such as Peaches, Chilly Gonzales, Broken Social Scene and By Divine Right.

The simple yet compelling “Gatekeeper” opens this album with a lo-fi bang. The peppy “Mushaboom” is next, followed by the melancholy title track. “One Evening” is drenched in soul and is the closest resemblance to the aforementioned Sade. “Lonely, Lonely” is terribly sad but somehow leaves a glimmer of hope. Or maybe that’s just because it’s an incredible song.

While the sultry voice of Feist is equally matched by songwriting that transcends genres and the landscape of time, she is equally brilliant in her choices of cover songs. A breezy version of Ron Sexsmith’s “Secret Heart” is very well done, but her take on the Bee Gees’ “Inside and Out” is quite possibly better than the original. Then there is the album’s closing track, Blossom Dearie’s “Now At Last.” This song should easily land on five or more chick flick soundtracks in the next few years.

Let It Die is a great record in so many respects, the obvious question will be, “Where does Feist go from here?” One can only hope there’s more room in the stratosphere. Cool indie artist or something the old folks can enjoy too? When the music is this good, it really doesn’t matter.

~Mike Farley