The much anticipated 5th album from dream-weaving Canadian sensations, Metric, dropped today, June 12th, 2012. When the band isn’t touring, they are songwriting and recording, and it shows just how preoccupied they’ve been in the 11 new songs on Synthetica.
Opening in a hauntingly Metric fashion, “Artificial Nocturne” rings in the new album with keys and the operatic, “I’m just as fucked up as they say. I can’t fake the daytime. Found an entrance to escape into the dark.” The drums pick up the beat and you know it’s on. Wild, amazing things are going to happen. Heavy guitars and keys bring the song to a crescendo as the chorus repeats, and as suddenly as it began, the song is over. No problem. There are 10 more songs. they can’t ALL be disappointing, right?
“Youth Without Youth”, one of the singles from Synthetica, sounds like a stadium rocking Muse jam with Emily Haine’s lovely voice complementing eerie ambient organ and catchy guitar/drum rhythms. “Lost Kitten” is an unbearably upbeat pop jingle that sounds like it belongs in a tampon commercial. The slightly grittier, synth driven “The Void” follows and is a nice change of pace for this album. The title track rolls it back to faster, post-punk era Metric with wailing guitars and anthemic chorus, “I can think for myself, I got something no pill can ever kill. Hey, I’m not Synthetica.” All of the harmonies are in place. All of the melodies are catchy and toe-tappable. Still, Synthetica will have you waiting for something climatic or standout to happen. Spoiler alert: it never comes.
When bands try to write music that sounds epic, they tend to miss the point and hurdle dangerously close to stadium pop/rock territory, where no one is a winner. For someone who isn’t a hardcore Metric fan, Synthetica seems more like a cross between Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Muse than the classic personal commentary and social boundary prodding Metric I fell in like with. While not a bad album by any standards, and I applaud the band for mixing up the song styles and themes, Synthetica is more “Hey, a new Metric album.” and less than groundbreaking.
Stream Synthetica in its entirety and tell us what you think: