I Had a Change of Heart with Feist’s ‘The Reminder,’ Just as Starbucks Had One, Too
Feist’s The Reminder holds a special distinction of being the first, and only, album that I abhorred before I adored.
And I’m not talking a passing dislike of it, either — I hated it. When it was released in the spring of 2007, I had just started working as a barista at Starbucks, and the store played it on constant rotation like a DJ might spin Frampton Comes Alive in the summer of 1976.
Every barista I worked with knew I hated this album because any time we weren’t busy with customers and the store CD would smugly launch into a full block of Feist’s music, like it was a fresh brew of something we’d never heard before, I would go to the back of the store and skip each and every song until the disc played something else, anything else, that was different.
Albums are meant to be fully consumed, to sit down and enjoy them over even, yes, coffee. But because I was making lattes, spilling frappuccinos down the back of my leg, and trying to juggle a million tasks (as any barista will tell you), I did not have the luxury to actually enjoy The Reminder. I would only get snippets of it, and from what I heard, it was annoying.
For example, “I Feel It All,” the second track off the album, was one that was played incessantly, and at the time I was pretty sure Ms. Feist had borrowed the opening cadence from The Simpsons’ “Children Are Our Future” song (“Children! Children!/Future! Future!”). I was also convinced that “Past is Present,” which is № 7 off the album, was actually a cruel continuation of “I Feel It All,” since it steals the same beats and guitar (just when you think you have “I Feel It All” completely out of your head, yes, it shows up again halfway through the album). Plus, you can sing “I Feel It All” along to “Past is Present” and it actually makes sense, kind of like syncing up Pink Floyd’s The Wall with The Wizard of Oz.
There was “My Moon, My Man,” with its persistent keyboard. One of my co-workers actually said to me, “My friend can play that piano part,” and I wasn’t all that surprised, considering it’s about three different notes without much time variation.
If you only catch small glimpses of the album, it’s pretty weird. “The Park” is a beautiful…