It took me a little while I know, but I'm finally coming around to listen to the originally New York, but now Canadian/Los Angeles/New York based indie pop band, Metric. I'm sad that I missed out on them for so long, because they are one of those bands that get you into other bands...if that makes sense at all.
Led by the super cute blonde Emily Haines on the piano and lead vocals, she is also in the baroque pop grouping Broken Social Scene, along with other Metric band mate James Shaw. Shaw brings the lead guitar out for Metric, with Joules Scott-Key on the drums, and Josh Winstead a-slappin' da bass. But don't fret, Scott-Key and Winstead have their own side project, Bang Lime. Legend has it that James Shaw used to chill with members of who would later be members of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's, the Liars, and TV on the Radio. I can see how all these bands relate, as they all have similar energies and creative qualities.
James Shaw has produced three of the four albums for Metric, and it's actually him that got the band that name in the first place, due to his methods of production on his samplers. Today's review is about the 4th studio album by the band, entitled Fantasies.
James' recent work is very good I must say. It continues with the change in play style that the band adopted after its 2007 album, Grow Up and Blow Away. GUBA was a little more processed and clean, with this new album being a bit edgier and not as metric as one would expect from James. This isn't a bad thing at all, as it feels more like a mood change than a personality change, if that makes sense.
If some of the songs sound familiar to you, but you weren't a Metric fan before, there's good reason. Grey's Anatomy has featured three songs from the band; the most recent being Front Row from this most recent album.
But I'll give you the nitty now, and let you know what my favorite tracks from the album are, and why.
The intro track, Help I'm Alive is a great song, but I actually prefer the acoustic version better. The band released the newer acoustic version recently, so you can grab it for free and find out for yourself. I think it lent a better intro to the album, going from softer melody, to the higher energy of the rest of the album.
Moving on into the album, the second track, Sick Muse gives us a smooth but powerful (much like me) push-off point to the listener. The acoustic guitar is a nice touch in the background, and the song keeps itself even sexier after about 20 seconds when the bass guitar starts to drop in. As I think I've stated in other articles by me, I am more inclined to love a bass line in a song, as it was the first instrument I learned to play.
Track 5, Gold Guns Girls takes a bit more of a sampled approach with the digital beat being overlaid in the background. The acoustic guitar kicks in during the chorus as a nice compliment to the lyrics. The song talks about greed we face every day, and even if you got all the things you wanted, you probably wouldn't be satisfied. Take a look:
All the gold And the guns And the girls Couldn't get you off
All the boys All the choices In the world
I remember when we were gambling to win Everybody else said better luck next time I don't wanna bend like the bad girls bend I just wanna be your friend Is it ever gonna be enough?
But my overall favorite has to be track 9, Blindness. I'm really into the instrument-follows-the-voice thingy that bands are doing now. The song starts of simple, and for some reason reminds me of an old Nintendo game (not sure which). At about 1:45, the bass drops, with the rest of the band at the two minute mark, for a powerful second half. Personally, I think that this song would have been a great one to end the album with, but second to last isn't bad either. It's just that the energy is high the whole album, and could have wound down to this, but the last track, Stadium Love does a proper ending anyhow I suppose.
To break away, this is an album that quickly built a respect for this band, because their music is so similar that all of it can be considered one big album in a way, with different moods being explored along the way. I look forward to seeing the band live in June with my home girl Jessica T, and tip my hat to her for telling me about them in the first place. They have my vote already, so pick up Fantasies and enjoy it. Oh and don't forget about that acoustic version on the bands website of Help I'm Alive. Stay tuned for their live performance review later on in the year.
Until next time my friends,