I’m so very happy! Not too long ago I was complaining to my husband that iTunes killed the full length album. It seems like the more pop oriented artists just make a bunch of singles and they happen to end up together in case, if by some fluke, you want to purchase them all instead of one at a time for .99 as you discover them. Of course, if you decided like a madman to buy the whole Madonna “MDNA” album; don’t worry about hearing the songs “Give Me All Your Luvin'” or “I Don’t Give A” when selecting the album to listen to on your iPod. You see, Madonna had the nerve to collaborate with M.I.A. and Nicki Minaj on those songs respectively and thusly iTunes has decided that those song are now special, independent songs that now live entirely on their own and unless you take matters into your own hands you will never hear the “MDNA” album whole, as the artist intended. All this annoys the hell out of me because I believe in the album. I live by the rule of, if you like three songs, you buy the album. Sometimes I’ll buy on only two songs if I really like them, and I’ll even buy on none if I loved the previous album. But I almost always buy the whole album and listen to the whole thing. That’s why I’m so happy that I recently bought an album. A really good album. An album that even had a theme running through it. An album that reminds me why I buy albums; Metric “Synthetica”.
Some readers may remember that all the way back in 2009 I wrote a review of Metric’s previous album “Fantasies”. Obviously I liked that album if I took the time to review it. Well my friends, as much as I enjoyed “Fantasies” I have to say “Synthetica” kicks its ass.
“Synthetica” explores some kinds of heavy, but pretty relatable ideas and questions. Songs explore aging, disillusionment, wondering if you’re being true to yourself, etc. This theme is stretched so far that album’s lyrics and track list are printed backwards and included with the album is foil so you can read the words in the reflection. Now before you all zone out on me, thinking that this is one bummer of a concept album, I’m here to tell you where the rest of the awesome is…..it’s not one long drag.
Musically Metric works double time to rock you. I bought “Synthetica” while the weather was still warm out. I was playing it full volume in the car with both windows and the moon roof open and losing track of my speed. It’s that kind of sound. I do not often notice drums, but the drums at times are brutal. On the title track I swear the drummer had to have gone straight through the drums.
The opening track, “Artificial Nocturne” starts out slow, but it’s compelling with the opening line of, “I’m just as fucked up as they say.” Your curiosity following this is rewarded as the song opens up into a New Wave sound that would make New Order proud.
Then hold onto your hats as the single from the album, “Youth Without Youth” kicks in!
This one’s got a nice bouncy, driving, 80s vibe that I love. “Breathing Underwater”.
And here’s the title track, “Synthetica”. By the end the drums are kind of epic, right?
That was three songs. Go out and buy the whole album!