Timeless Sophistication: METRIC’s Synthetica
by Charissa Lock
It’s the year 2030 and a curious child has stumbled onto her parents’ old and dingy iPod. The sides are scuffed and it’s so faded you could barely tell if it was pink or red when it was first used. The first few songs are definitely one’s she can recall her parents singing to, boring things that don’t even use electronic keyboards or synthesizers. Pressing the skip button, she begins to hear beating drums, distorted electric guitars, synth melodies, and a female voice with attitude. The child is in awe. This sounds like something she would be listening to, this actually sounds like something she just listened to. Giving her parents credit, where credit is due she angles the iPod just right so that she can see behind the scratches to find the brilliant artist. “METRIC – Synthetica” is barely readable. The child smiles, taking the iPod with her to her room as she goes through song after song.
“You have entered the Twilight Zone.” Nah, not really, I just wanted to prove a really good point. METRIC is where music is going, METRIC will always be enjoyed, and METRIC captures so many beautiful music moments it will forever gain new fans. They say it best, “Will there ever be a place for you and me? The Wanderlust will carry your song.” (“The Wanderlust”). Of course as I say that, I can think of three more songs off Synthetica that can capture the same idea (i.e. “Nothing But Time”).
Synthetica certainly has thought-provoking and intriguing lyrics, so many moments that cause you to stop and think. This is a difficult task because it forces you to pull away from the melodies and instrumentation that is already being thoroughly enjoyed. One of the most significant lyrics that jumped out at me consequently was the same Matt also had stuck in his head. “Clone” itself is a beautifully composed track. The first few beats remind me of an old organ gospel song (you’re probably thinking, “how is that even possible?”) and it keeps this quiet thoughtfulness as Emily Haines shares, “It’s too late in the day to take you on all the rides.” It’s a pretty powerful line that figuratively or literally has a lot going on. The emotion is carried out through the slight build up and additions of other delicate and personal situations where it is too late in the evening for.
Besides the lyrics, METRIC continues to come up with wonderful compositions, as done on past albums. The transitions throughout the songs are evident, though not tricky or especially mind-blowing. A lot of the instrumentation talent is kept in the background and can be enjoyed if you’re listening close enough. The tracks in general have this dreamy, soft, yet substantial (lyric and vocal-based) feel. Songs like their first single “Youth Without Youth,” “Synthetica,” and “Lost Kitten,” have a more upbeat sound with the beats having a significant role. The latter track reminds me of a Brittany Spears meets Lana Del Rey “masterpiece.” I’m slowly, and I mean slowly, appreciating it as a METRIC song and not a pop music copy-cat.
An album like Synthetica can never get old, it’s the present and the future and if you take apart songs it even can fall in the past. With their latest album being described as “Sonicallyfuturistic yet organic”* on METRIC’s bio page, they are clearly creating something that can never grow out of style or lack the modern touch.
TAGS: Imperial, Top albums of 2012, Oh Canada!, Broken Social Scene, My writer is gonna like female vox b4 I’m done with her