Feist – “Pleasure” (Singles Going Steady)

On "Pleasure", Feist is a dynamic blues rocker with a biting edge, juxtaposing heavy twang with aching spaces.

Adriane Pontecorvo: Feist could have gone the way of so many indie singer-songwriters, mellowing out and settling down into easy money singles after a Top 100 hit. “Pleasure” is yet another release that proves that she hasn’t. With a spare and growling guitar and vocals that murmur, strain, and belt with abandon as fits the occasion, Feist is a dynamic blues rocker with a biting edge, juxtaposing heavy twang with aching spaces. She pushes the limits of her voice as she hits high notes and switches ably between eerie and exuberant. It’s been six years since Metals, and it’s great to hear Feist back and in as fine form as ever. [9/10]

Steve Horowitz: “And your pleasure / is my pleasure” — a lovely erotic thought! Feist uses silence and volume intermittently to show how the building of tension is a push and pull. Her voice mixes well with the strumming of a guitar that seems to be purposely searching for a rhythm. The song is a bit too short for one that starts out so quietly, but it is rewarding. This may not end in a climactic moment, but pleasure does not need to be orgasmic to be good! [8/10]

Mike Schiller: The idea of Feist’s latest is more appealing than the song itself. You can kind of hear what she’s going for here, something heartfelt, exciting, and about a thousand miles from the bubblegum indie-pop that made her famous. “Pleasure” is unlikely to soundtrack an iPhone commercial. Sounding a bit like four separate songs stitched together, “Pleasure” has stabs of dirty guitar, multi-tracked vocals, and barely a hint of a catchy melody. Sometimes a song loses something when it is separated from the album it belongs to, and I suspect that’s the case here; on its own, “Pleasure” is a tough nut to crack and a tough song to love. [5/10]

Paul Carr: On “Pleasure”, Feist gets rid of anything extraneous. Strips back the unnecessary to leave her, her guitar and an amp. It’s a skeletal lo-fi blues number that sounds equal parts St Vincent and PJ Harvey. The song builds to a bluesy stomp replete with a dirty, swaggering riff that saunters and struts like it’s looking for a fight. Excellent. [9/10]

Jordan Blum: Feist is an artist I’ve heard about often but never listened to. There’s a strong retro quality to the guitar here; at first, it reminded me of the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds and SMiLE, but then it became more hectic. Her contribution is definitely more modern. There are a noir-esque wistfulness and coldness to it, but also a poetic air; that is, until she ventures into Björk-ish outbursts. I appreciate the other tones in the background as well, and in general. It shifts levels of intensity nicely. That said, I like the individual parts more than the sum, as it doesn’t really stay with me or hook me as it goes. [7/10]

SCORE: 7.60