Feist, Let It Die
Act One of a Canadian chanteuse's climb to the top
Three years before Leslie Feist donned a blue sequined pantsuit and proved that her hopscotch song about young love was ideal for shilling handheld electronics, she perfected the art of making cohesive albums out of stripped-bare songs and those with more theatrical potential. 2004's Let It Die supplemented her original material with some eclectic but well-picked covers and prepped the singer for her choreographed breakthrough.
Feist honed her talent for turning an unassuming track into an all-out dance party with "Mushaboom," a breezy sing-along that builds with handclaps and bells and layered voices until you can practically see the impromptu parade following her down the street.
The lady also has an obvious '70s jones. The slinky "One Evening," with its cooed high notes and laid-back guitar groove, would fit in (but stand out) on easy-listening radio. "Leisure Suite" goes a step further in setting the mood with muted horns, trembling organ and Feist's Astrud Gilberto delivery. And she really exposes her dancing-queen ambitions with a faithful redo of the Bee Gees' "Love You Inside Out" (here as "Inside and Out").
But she looks back to the '50s to close the album with Bob Haymes' "Now at Last," a woeful piano number worthy of ending act one.