Metric – Synthetica

Release Date: June 12th, 2012
Reviewed By Court Smoots

Metric has definitely taken an antiemetic turn on their last few records, which is something they do quite well. Still, I can’t help but long for the Metric of old. When they were young, poor, Brooklynites, before it was cool to be a young, poor, Brooklynite. A time when Emily Haines and Jimmy Shaw (the bands founders), lived, crammed into a studio apartment with future members of both Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Broken Social Scene, all of them scratching for money and meals while making beautiful and abstract music together.

I guess I can’t really blame them for changing their ways; I’m sure at some point you’d have to give up on the starving artist routine when the hunger pangs become too constant and too loud. So Metric, along with their many flat mates turned their attention to the radio and left the derelict dream behind.

Synthetica, Metric’s latest release, is a key example of just how far removed they now are from those pre-cool kid Brooklyn days. Gone are Haines’ abrasive and introspective lyrics, along with Shaw’s paced and powerful riffs, since being replaced by the super sugary pop they’re now known for.

Don’t get me wrong, the music isn’t all that bad, it just isn’t the Metric I knew and loved. There are however a few pristine pop songs that caught my attention on their latest effort, namely “Lost Kitten”, a first person account of love longed for from a distance, which finds Haines belting out “You’ve got my eyes, you’ve got my eyes, You’ll never be mine, ah, but you’ve got my eyes”. And “Wanderlust” a song that chronicles the ever burning need to, well… wander, and just so happens to feature the always interesting Lou Reed (yes, that Lou Reed).

All in all this record’s good, not very good, and definitely not great. Metric has grown up and grown out, leaving behind the youthful spree for safer pastures. And though I can’t say I blame them for taking the safe bet and consistent paycheck, here’s to hoping they one day regain the knack they once had for turning out exceptional music.

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