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‘Synthetica’ is the long awaited new album (number 5) from Metric. The group took a long time to make this record, one would assume because they wanted to do it right. They did. The record starts with “Artifical Nocturne” which opens with the incredibly sincere and humanistic line “I’m just as fucked up as they say” – which may be equal parts honesty and self-deprecation. The almost 6 minute tune flows seamlessly into the records first single “Youth Without Youth” and continues a trend that is prevalent throughout this record: balance. Hard, Soft, Electronica, Rock & Roll – this record has it all. I read somewhere that ‘Synthetica’ was supposed to be a culmination of their previous works, and originally I figured that was just the kind of crap that bands say to magazine writers (perhaps because they’ll write it) but I get it now. “Drums So Real” carries a simple, defeated message – “I’ll shut up any carry on” while (ironically) featuring a minimal, nearly non-existent (possible electronic) percussion line. The title track is one of the most straightforward tunes this band has ever put out. The latter half of this album provides many high points, but perhaps none higher than “The Wanderlust” – the group’s much written about collaboration with Lou Reed provides a subtle transition from the rest of the record without sounding contrived or bull-shitty. It’s good.
A bonus to those of us who pre-ordered the record was the collection of “Synthetica Reflections” – 5 instrumental pieces that reprise tunes already on the record. It’s a great collectors piece for a complete-ist like me.
The recurring theme throughout this record continues along the longing, almost lustful style you’ve come to expect from Emily Haines’ lyrics. By this point it’s evident that she is either the best storyteller of all time, or someone really hurt her, and she continues to channel it well. Her voice has never been stronger, the tunes have never been stronger, and the future has never looked brighter for this group.