Features | Awards

The Run Lola Run Award for Circumstances That Could Have Used a Parallel Universe

By Brian Riewer | 17 December 2011

Feist
Metals
(Interscope; 2011)









This is not so much about Feist’s album, as I’m guessing at least half of you are thinking, “Wait—Feist released an album this year?” (which is fine; the other half of you are assuming I’m going to be talking about iPod commercials). No, what I want to make note of is Feist’s new album as a Feist album, as I’m not entirely convinced that this was a flop; considering just how easily digestible and just how…hip this album is, I can’t shake the idea that if this had been, say, a Sufjan Stevens record it wouldn’t have been nearly as overlooked.

Think about it: after the overwhelming gloss and ridiculous experimentation of Age of Adz (2010), nothing would have served the Michigander singer-songwriter better than the simpler composition and straight-forward catchiness all over Metals. Hell, even make this another edition in his states project: Metals rebranded as Salutations from the Commonwealth of Virginia! would have blown the fuck up. I can already hear this tracks being festooned with all sorts of local names. “A Commotion” would be something as boisterous as the song itself, probably along the lines of “Old Dominion, the Mother of Presidents,” while the solemn “How Come You Never Go There” would be “Newport News (One Last, Desperate Grasp at New Urbanism, Or, Turning Oyster Point Into a Pearl).” “Undiscovered First” would probably be named something along the lines of “John Lederer on His Second Expedition Into the Blue Ridge Mountains, Or: a Man-Made Eclipse on the Eastern Face of Mount Mitchell,” which means a great deal of the mountain-themed lyrics could even be recycled for this scenario. Throw in a couple of tracks whose titles take longer to say than the song is long (think: “On Retreating from the Battle of Appomattox Court House, the Last Time Brothers of Our Nation Would Raise Arms Against Each Other As Robert E. Lee and Ulysses S. Grant Sort Out Our Differences”), give it a cutesy cover with a hand-drawn picture of Virginia Beach or Jamestown colony, and that will register at least a 8.5 magnitude on the Pitchfork scale.

So why was Metals overlooked? A guess: