Pajama party!

Between the major-label ink, malcontent hipsters, and a gang of rock scribes thirsting to sip her bathwater, it seemed like Leslie Feist's third proper solo release was destined to suffocate under impossible expectations. In turn, she did what any singer-songwriter tiptoeing on the edge of mainstream appeal might — called up a few pals and made the best record she could.

Even if that little pajama party included some of the sharpest dildos in the bedroom, including Jamie Lidell and the better parts of her sometimes-supergroup, Broken Social Scene, the brilliant resulting LP rests squarely on the singer herself. Here, Feist's talents have blossomed with such graceful élan that as good as her early records were, tunes like the soul-soaked "Limit to Your Love" or the shuffling "So Sorry" are of a wholly different class. Like most of The Remainder, they offer sass and sophistication with disarming confidence, even when the stomp of "My Moon, My Man" struts with a wagging tail or "Brandy Alexander" takes a pose of blithe detachment. So, sorry lovers, when she sings "I'll be the who'll break my heart, I'll be the one to hope" ("I Feel it All"), it has such soaring buoyancy that everyone else's expectations are suddenly miles below.

Nate Cavalieri writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].

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