Saturday, May 2, 2009

Metric: Fantasies

Artist: Metric
Album: Fantasies
Date Released: April 14, 2009
Genre: indie-rock, indie-pop, pop
Rating: 8.7

My initial reaction to Fantasies, Metric's fourth full length, was a resounding, "Wha?" It was definitely not what I expected from a band known for its edgy and even subversive post-punkish sensibilities. But as my surprise transitioned into acceptance, and as I properly digested the album, I now realize that Metric has put together an absolutely outstanding pop album.

This is a new Metric -- a band that has consciously chosen to dive headfirst into the pop arena. The album is upbeat, glossy and bubbly. A friend of mine referred to it as cotton candy -- and it's exactly that. Metric will undeniably lose some followers with this release, but they're guaranteed to gain 10 new fans for every one lost.

Despite the shift I'm still a Metric fan. I have a particular soft spot for a well crafted pop song, and Fantasies is full of them. Fantasies explodes out of the gates with three wham-bams: "Help I'm Alive", "Sick Muse" and "Satellite Mind." All three are drenched with an abundance of hooks and lyrical zingers.

Fantasies, despite its major scale tone, is often a contradiction in terms. The dark and self-reflective lyrics often work against the upbeat vibe as a sort of irony -- or as a way for the band to forcibly shatter the shackles of despair. On "Satellite Mind," vocalist Emily Hanes, who continues to have one of the sexiest voices in rock, declares, "I'm not suicidal, I just can't get out of bed." And on "Give Me Sympathy" she sings,
I can feel it in my bones
Gimme sympathy
After all of this is gone
Who'd you rather be?
The Beatles or the Rolling Stones?
Oh, seriously
You're gonna make mistakes, you're young
Come on, baby, play me a song
Like, "Here Comes the Sun"
Fantasies also features some excellent sound design; each track contains bits of ear candy that offer the album an added dynamism. I particularly enjoyed the Boards of Canada-esque lo-fi synth pads that colour "Twilight Galaxy."

Need a pick-me-up this summer? Look no further than Fantasies.

Reviewed by George Dvorsky.


  1. YES! Brilliant album - especially lead tracks Help, I'm Alive and Sick Muse. Saw them live in Tokyo recently - simply fantastic!

  2. Yup! I agree too.This is one of my favorite albums of the year. i completely love Gimme Sympathy!