METRIC – Fantasies (2009)

Metric - Fantasies I feel somewhat ashamed for admitting this, but Fantasies marks my first exposure to Metric (though I have a passing familiarity with Emily Haines from her work with Canadian omni-ensemble Broken Social Scene). As such, I can’t get too in-depth as to how Fantasies fits in with the rest of the band’s work (or, for that matter, Haines’ work in general). But that’s okay. Sometimes, you gotta work with what you’ve got.

Anyways, onto Fantasies – stylistically, it tightly balances electro-pop and upbeat indie rock. Often times, the two genres work independently of one another, and the band shift between them effortlessly (see album opener Help I’m Alive – the song sways from rock-centric verses to its clubs-ready chorus effortlessly). This is noteworthy in that, when bands are incapable of shifting their styles smoothly, the results are rarely memorable, as repeated jarring transitions tend not to be memorable (of Montreal’s newest album, the schizophrenic Skeletal Lamping, being an exception). Fantasies works best, though, when Haines & co. throw caution to the wind and surrender to both aspects of their sound in equal, simultaneous measure (as in Front Row, and the album standout Stadium Love).

While Fantasies might not stand out as much as some other albums that have been released this year (like Two Suns, and Bromst), it’s a consistent album that never takes a wrong turn or tries to push itself beyond what it is capable of (I’m all for artists taking risks, provided they have the skill and the nerve to make them work, which sadly, does not happen all the time). If you’re into Broken Social Scene (or any other band that falls under the BSS/Arts and Crafts umbrella), and somehow have not heard Metric yet, please, rectify this immediately. You won’t regret it. Lord knows I didn’t.

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