“That is a well thought-out, valid objection…OVERRULED” – misremembered quote from the moderately funny flick (definitely a “flick”) My Cousin Vinny.
The new album is a distillation of things Feisty, and it must be my agitation at starting over as a temp in my late twenties, but I wanted more than dinner party music from the latest half-decade-in-making record from one of the best singers of my fan-devotion. But it’s very good. It’s…precise. That’s always been Feist’s game – each and every note is executed well. Not since CCR have I heard such exactness and fineness in recording. The notes are spaced out, but they never miss a string. It’s nice, but it’s also like seeing Howard Stern on television – it’s uncanny the way every single curl is exactly in place.
Deliberation and caring are Feist’s game. Every song here is thoughtful like an old shoe, but no more. Maybe I just need to accept Feist as a sort of Nicoish chanteuse and stop looking for the spirits of Janis Joplin and early Regina Spektor. There’s a sparse, jazzy good time to be had here if’n you didn’t know.
Certainly there’s the entirety of bluesy opener “The Bad in Each Other” (oh, that drumbeat and actually rock-ish guitar riff!) and the chorus of “Graveyard” and the end of “An Undiscovered First” to keep me company forever if need be. I might be focusing too much on the preciseness of everything, but goddamnit, is this the best to hope for? I fear it is. Little roads and couple fights and moonwatching. And I like all those things! But it’s all so precious.
And why! Like the other Feist albums it’s about an even mix (slightly on the unhappy side) between wonderful catchy songs and slow diary songs. But not the diary of an emotional, more like the diary of a happy housewife in winter. So we’re going to do this Princess Bride style. Hop the fuck on, bitch!
This is a recipe for either lasting sadness or feigned smiles. With each office job I take I see a new variety show of sad middle-aged people trading diet tips and stories about toddlers, so I can clearly not drink the wine in front of you.
But I’m not getting any younger, and unless I find success soon (and I won’t) I’ll be here for a long time, a sardonic man with roommates and a sad little job and a million sad little projects, so I can clearly not drink the wine in front of me.
But there are like six songs on this album that I don’t care about, even if I recognize them, like “Cicadas and Gulls” (watching flying things YAWN), and “Comfort Me” (nuts to that sentiment YAWN), “Bittersweet Melodies” (THAT’S what you wanted to sing about – how original YAWN), and others, all of them interchangeable slow strummy “pretty” songs. So I can clearly not drink the wine of you.
But those slow pretty songs ARE really pretty, and if I’d listened to anything else over the last few days I wouldn’t mind. It’s getting colder out, and I must say I’ve enjoyed even the boring songs while walking to work and laundry and girlfriend, so I can clearly not the drink the wine in front of me.
But even the good songs are flawed – lone rock song “The Bad In Each Other” by the aforementioned preciseness (and plodding nature), and “Graveyard” has a dull verse, like a Goo Goo Dolls song, and “An Undiscovered First” takes forever to get to the good part. The other good songs are just good, never great, so I can clearly not drink the wine in front of you.
But the chorus to “Graveyard” is awe-inspiring, and I really dig songs about arguing with your significant other (also: arguing with my significant other), and that choir at the end of “An Undiscovered First” is amazing, and “A Commotion” manages to straddle the line between sexy and having silly horns (hehe, I said straddle) and I have no clear indication that I will keep my friends and lifestyle, so I can clearly not drink the wine in front of me.
But this isn’t the way I want to be: domestic, nice, intelligent and calm, living somewhere nice like The Annex, watching the snow fall gently. So I can clearly not drink the wine in front of you.
But I can’t handle temping forever, and there’s no reason to think anyone other than my girlfriend will love my work, so I can clearly not drink the wine in front of me.
Fuck it, I’m drinking the whiskey. Stray cats and backyards and snow and such.