Anyone who knows me knows that I have worshipped Metric since their kickass breakout album Old World Underground (Where Are You Now?). Their unique blend of punk rock attitude and electro pop acting like a kind of best-of-music-I-like for me. Since that album, a few others followed, all good, so I had high hopes for Synthetica.
Well it is indeed good, about as strong as Grow Up And Blow Away I would say.
It opens with the very Metric “Artificial Nocturne” which doesn’t fully take off the way “Help, I’m Alive” did, for example, but which nonetheless lures you hypnotically into the album. It has a great build-up. “Youth Without Youth” is next and adds a bit of Black Keys-style blues to the mix. Again, it doesn’t have that extra level to it but it’s still a cool tune. “Speed The Collapse” brings with it a darker tone and is all the better for it. One of the best songs on the album, definitely.
The following song, “Breathing Underwater”, is nice enough but apart from being well sung and well put together, it didn’t really do too much for me. I’ll admit it’s a cute song, though. “Lost Kitten” is more the type of thing I could see myself listening to in the long run: adorable but not without bite, with fab melodies, it’s quite simply a classic Metric tune and my personal favourite on the album. “The Void” is a lighter effort but an enjoyable one and “Synthetica” is the Old World Underground-style punky power song I was waiting for. Packed with cool and attitude, it’s an energetic, kickass tune which brings some much needed head-bangs to the album and makes a worthy title tune.
After that, we get “Clone” and “The Wanderlust”. The former, like “Breathing Underwater”, is hardly one of my faves but it works, the latter contains backing vocals by Lou Reed (yup, Lou Reed) and ends the album, believe it or not, on an upbeat note. A fun finale to a fun album.
All in all, Synthetica may not be Metric’s most ground-breaking album or quite as good as 2009’s Fantasies but it still packs a punch and is far better than most things you’ll put in your ears from that particular year.
Check it out, that’s 3 strong Red Hot Chili Fellas out of 5.