Synthetica, the latest release from Canadian indie rock darlings Metric, offers a rejuvenating sound with an atmospheric element. In the words of frontwoman Emily Haines, “Synthetica is about staying home and wanting to crawl out of your skin from the lack of external stimulation. [...] It’s about what is real vs. what is artificial.” The album delivers powerful anthems weaved into tremendous choruses that take the listener for a wild and exotic ride.
Synthetica opens with “Artificial Nocturne” exuding a dark yet sultry vibe with the attention-grabbing intro line “I’m as fucked up as they say.” This track is an anthem of escape for the broken hearted, combining soft vocals with a light melody which progresses throughout the song. First single “Youth Without Youth” is a generational call-out, picking the album up with a pounding beat combined with Haines’ impeccable vocals.
Although it takes two songs to really get things moving, “Speed The Collapse” is a colossal track that showcases how talented this band really is. “Breathing Underwater” keeps up the pace – the buildup to the chorus is undeniable and fun all around with simple lyrics and heavy guitar in the background. “The Void” features the album’s most exotic electronic intro, proving that Metric can effortlessly create songs with different elements and still manage to perfectly blend them together in the same album.
Title track “Synthetica” takes the listener for a ride, starting out with a light rock vibe before ending as a ballad. Haines proclaims halfway through the track, “Our parents, daughters and sons believed in the power of songs – what if those days are gone?” but this song proves that Metric aren’t about to let that happen. “The Wanderlust,” featuring guest vocals from Lou Reed, changes up the vibe of the album yet again, but this is what Metric are known for. Finally, closing track “Nothing But Time” matches effortless lyrics with the band’s classic sound to wind the album down.
Listeners who have followed Metric for years are sure to enjoy this album and the stories told by each song. With lyrics that are simple yet to the point, the overall message of Synthetica is carefully delivered in each note. Haines does an outstanding job showing off her vocal skills, guaranteeing that Metric will continue to receive the positive attention they deserve.