What’s Leslie Feist been up to since her 2007 album The Reminder? Breaking up, from the sound of things on her latest. These songs play like letters from a broken heart, delivered in the Canadian singer’s typically understated style. Her drowsy voice—which works so well on the lovely offhand pop numbers for which she’s become known (“Mushaboom,” “1234”)—requires only a slight adjustment to sound wounded, as on “How Come You Never Go There,” or searching, as on “Graveyard,” which builds into layers of voices repeating an aching refrain over spare electric guitar and funereal horns. She sighs gently on “The Circle Married the Line,” and a chorus of male voices interrupts her breathy vocals to interject with the title of the jittery “A Commotion.” It would take a callous spirit to wish heartache on Feist, but whatever turmoil fueled these lovelorn songs has resulted in an album that’s quietly edgier than any of her previous work. –Eric R. Danton

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