(Last Gang Records)
Listening to Metric’s new release Fantasies, it’s easy to hear a real theme developing.
That’s not to say the first album in four years by the Canadian four
piece – written by lead singer Emily Haines – doesn’t have its whimsical or
softer moments. But with songs such as “Help I’m Alive,” “Sick Muse,” “Gimme
Sympathy,” and “Blindness” you can tell there’s something Haines wanted to tell
us with this music.
That, Haines said in a recent interview with Blurt (published in our debut print edition), is to reconcile the
different personalities in her life that takes her from Metric to collaborator
with Broken Social Scene to solo artist while maintaining what she can of a
Want proof? Consider the “Help I’m Alive” lyrics which includes
“They’re gonna eat me alive if I stumble” and “It’s hard to be soft, tough to
be tender,” with heavy percussion as the backdrop.
You might think you’re veering out of the dark tunnel despite the name
“Sick Muse” just because of the ultra cool punk sound, but listen to Haines
sing “Watch out cupid stuck me with a sickness/pull those little arrows out and
let me live my life” as the guitars wail.
Perhaps Metric’s ability to weave Haines’ powerful lyrics into songs
that can be taken at face value – as punky, danceable, indie pop that’s found
plenty of commercial appeal – is the reason the band’s music is magic. Those
who want something deeper know that piercing the poppy, synth heavy sound and
tuning into Haines’ lyrics is akin to peeking into a diary – heady stuff.
And Haines is in on the joke, as evidenced by the lyrics in “Gimme
Sympathy,” which include “Who would you
rather be/The Beatles or the Rolling Stones/You’re gonna make mistakes/You’re
young/Come on baby play me something/Like ‘Here Comes the Sun.'”
When you listen to Fantasies, remember the songs are just that — whatever
you want them to be.
Standout Tracks: “Gimme
Sympathy,” “Sick Muse” NANCY DUNHAM