FEIST | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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The first few times I listened to The Reminder (Cherrytree/Interscope) I couldn't get over how a record widely heralded as a commercial breakthrough could sound so subtle. The production is lean and unfussy, and there's a preponderance of relatively introspective ballads, which seemed strange in light of "Mushaboom," the giddy confection that was Feist's closest thing to a hit. With time I've come to appreciate the singer's new confidence in her songwriting--half of 2004's Let It Die was covers but here she had a hand in all but one track ("Sealion," a gospel-tinged take on the traditional "Sea Lion Woman")-. Her melodies are strong, and she inhabits them in a gentle but commanding way. I've also grown to love the dynamic arrangements and the spacious-sounding way they were recorded, with the band playing all together in a single room sans headphones on most of the tracks. If Feist becomes a big star, I hope she keeps making the kind of original, personal music she's made here. Grizzly Bear opens. a 7:30 PM, the Vic, 3145 N. Sheffield, 773-472-0449 or 312-559-1212, sold out. A

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