Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Synthetica | Metric

Metric's new album, Synthetica, was released June 12th of this year! Having enjoyed their previous album, Fantasies, I was definitely interested in hearing what else this band had in store.

The opening track is called "Artificial Nocturne," which begins with synths and Emily Haines' ever-soothing vocals. As the song slowly builds, it just gets more and more intriguing. After the synth-intro is over with, guitars pop in, bringing a new feel to the track. The repetative melodies are almost hypnotic throughout the crescendos and decrescendos of the song, making me feel positive about the album already.

"Youth Without Youth" follows, and it is the first single from Synthetica. The synths from the previous song lead into this track for a moment, but the electric guitars quickly break through this leftover sound. Metric may be indie/alternative/new wave, but they sure sound like rock stars in this song. "Youth Without Youth" is the perfect chilled-out summer song, but that is not to say that it isn't upbeat. I just feel so cool when I listen to it!

What was an immediate favorite song of mine from the album comes next, and it's called "Speed the Collapse." Again, the previous song sort of leads into this one, and the tone seems completely changed. Lyrically, this song is a bit strange and clever. Of course, I love this element, almost as much as I love Emily's vocalizing at the end of the chorus, which are bound to stay in the listener's head long after the first listen. It's not a slow song, but it's so relaxing... But then again, isn't that a good definition for all of Metric's music?

Next comes "Breathing Underwater," where Emily's vocals seem to be a bit more calming than usual, even in the heavier-than-typical chorus. Again, "Breathing Underwater" seems to be a song so perfect for summer, one that I'll surely be listening to frequently.

"Dreams so Real" is highly powered by the electronic elements of Metric, and even Emily's voice is a bit auto-tuned. I can already tell that I don't want this song in my head at three o'clock in the morning when I'm trying to sleep, for it's almost too repetative and catchy! However, I won't deny that it's a good song. Rather short, but still good.

The sixth song of Synthetica, "Lost Kitten," is probably my least favorite despite it's rather... cute sounding. For whatever reason, it seems to be a bit bland for my taste. But right when "The Void" begins, I feel assured that I won't experience any particularly dull moments on this record... and I'm wrong. "The Void" gave me that bland taste again. Though neither of them are bad songs or lack quality, there's nothing in the music that really catches me like the other songs. However, I feel like these two tracks would be nice to listen to when I'm doing something that requires work and need some good background music.

This phase of the album officially ends with the title track. "Synthetica" gets me grooving again with its awesome instrumentation and a chorus that I want to sing along with right away. Like "Youth Without Youth," this song has more potent guitars than some of the other tracks, but it still keeps that signature dreamy Metric feel to it.

"Clone" follows, a more mellow and electronic side of Synthetica. The guitars in the chorus and the bridge ignite something nostalgic in me, and the lyrics seem to speak to me in some way, especially these: "Can you clone me? I look like everyone you know now." I really enjoyed this change of pace; I really enjoyed the song. "Clone" has a unique beauty to it.

"The Wanderlust" is a bit different as it includes male vocals in the chorus. It's not the most memorable song on the album, but it ends abruptly, leaving me with the last song: "Nothing But Time." Unlike the other songs (excpet for the first one), "Nothing But Time" includes a soothing, catchy piano bit. Emily's vocals blend into the sound quite well, almost too well, as this atmospheric track builds, gaining more and more audible effects. I'm quite sure this is the most atmospheric song of Synthetica, and some of this maintains its place in the song in the chorus, when the guitars and drums come in. Instantly, this track is one of my favorites. The song ends on a very positive note lyrically, as well as a great end musically, for the sound draws itself out a bit before its final cut-off.

Synthetica is a wonderful album! Metric should be proud of this unique piece of work, for just about every song seemed to sit more than well with me. Not only did it sound great, but it drew some emotion from me. I found myself smiling a lot when listening to this album; Metric's sound always makes me happy.

Place Metric's Synthetica to the top of your list of CDs to buy, for it's perfect, relaxing summer music.

4.5/5 Stars

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