Tuesday, April 21, 2009

CD Review: Metric - Fantasies

The press release for Metric's new album, Fantasies, stated that the title was intended to evoke a dream-inspired feeling. The suggested feeling does occur as the material seems to be motivated by subconscious thoughts. Listening to Fantasies in one sitting is very similar to an actual dream. The album's tone and emotion changes frequently, even in the middle of a song. It also depicts the feeling of waking up. For example, the album's fourth track, "Twilight Galaxy," is very calming and encourages one to fall into a trance. This is followed by "Gold Guns Girls," which is the literal equivalent to a noisy alarm clock.

But in all honesty, there's nothing really special about Fantasies. This is not meant to be a slight against Metric. The new album is enjoyable and the band upholds their acclaimed style. The music is original and doesn't conform to any commercial conventions. However, Fantasies does not break any new ground. It's a typical indie-rock album; something that we have come to expect from a band like Metric.

"Help I'm Alive," the leadoff track, was the first single released from the album. It's a good choice as the song describes the feeling the band was going for. There are various moods and the vocals by lead singer Emily Haines registers on several fronts. There's also the delightful fuse of hard rock and New Wave. However, "Help I'm Alive" doesn't come close to the powerful and attention-grabbing "Monster Hospital" from 2005's Live It Out album.

Fantasies will have its success. There will certainly be praise for it. But expecting the album to be monumentally noteworthy is outlandish. It's a great album, but not one that will revolutionize the Canadian indie-rock scene. Expectations should be set a respectful level; neither high nor low.

For more information on Metric, please visit www.ilovemetric.com.

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