Fantasies, Metric’s 2009 album, was considered a breakthrough for the group. And it deserves that reputation, as it made the band into one I deemed worthy of my continuing affection, or at least interest. Now it’s a few years later and the band has turned into the kind of group that does music for movies like Twilight and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, I guess they’re kind of a big deal. Synthetica, Metric’s first new album since getting really popular, sadly feels more like it should have been the album that came before Fantasies, not after it.
Not to say I dislike Synthetica, but it just isn’t as good as the last album. A lot of it feels like the band pre-Fantasies, a pseudo-new wave pop sound driven by tight drums and guitar, with a fair share of keyboards. It goes for the same big, flashy sound that worked so well last time, but just can’t get that large. If this had come out before Fantasies, I’d be talking about how excited I was for the next album. Instead, I’m a little worried about the direction they’re going in, as they don’t seem to be making much progress.
That’s a problem of mine, I can’t enjoy the present for fear of the future. It’s why I’m losing interest in the still-mostly-solid Modern Family and was so frustrated by The Amazing Spider-Man. Taken out of context, Synthetica really isn’t an album I can complain about. Most of the songs are nice and hooky, and flow beautifully between each other, except for “The Wanderlust,” which has a jarring Lou Reed appearance. Even that song is great on it’s own. It’s all about context. Eating a chocolate cake is delicious. Eating a chocolate cake after you just finished eating another chocolate cake is torture.
Favorite Tracks: “Artificial Nocturne,” “Breathing Underwater,” “The Void”