Album Review: Metric - Synthetica


Metric - Synthetica
Album art for Metric's Synthetica (Courtesy of the band)

Coming from 14 years of hard work and dedication to their music and their fans, Metric has a career that stands out against their indie rock peers. They're an easy band to like -- something we should all be able to agree on. A group of hard working Canadians who started their career before the onslaught of flash-in-the-pan indie blog buzz bands. Album by album they have created a following of dedicated fans that have become part of the bands success story.

Their new album Synthetica exposes a darker side of Metric's sound and lyrics. Front-woman Emily Haines describes the album as an exploration of what it is to confront one's true self. On the title track she sings, "I'm not synthetica, I'll keep the life that I've got." As a fan, Haines has a life to envy from afar. On a break from Metric she released a solo album that brought her voice and songwriting to the spotlight, and created new hits for the uninitiated.

Synthetica delivers the solid rock hooks and thoughtful ballads that Metric fans have come to expect over the past four albums. Though the band hasn't re-invented their sound or style, they have sharpened their production. The instrumentation is more subtle than previous albums, allowing Haines' signature tone and delivery style to ring throughout the album.

What's more to love about Metric is that they are continuing to write albums in an era of a song-based music consumption. Synthetica is a moody album that can be devoured in one sitting or sampled one song at a time. From "Breathing Under Water" to "Speed The Collapse" and "Youth Without Youth," Synthetica will make you want to fall in love and break up all in one song. If you aren't convinced, wait for Lou Reed to show up on "The Wanderlust."

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    Metric performs in the UBS Forum (MPR Photo / Nate Ryan)