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Metric, "Fantasies" (02. Records) [3.5 STARS]

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It's been four years since "Live It Out," the second album by Toronto-based indie-popsters Metric, and during the long wait, the band's leaders, vocalist Emily Haines and guitarist James Shaw, have become much better known as members of the cult-favorite Canadian supergroup Broken Social Scene (from whence also came Leslie Feist). But "Fantasies" is a very welcome reminder of their original group's charms, with a buzzing electro-pop energy, an undeniably sassy sex appeal and a sleek, retro/futuristic New Wave vibe that conjures a winning merger of Garbage and Ladytron.

The band's message is never particularly deep: "Did I ask you for attention/When affection is what I need?" Haines asks in "Twilight Galaxy." (It's less embarrassing when she sticks to referencing pop culture, as she does in "Gimme Sympathy," pondering the immortal question: "Who'd you rather be: The Beatles or the Rolling Stones?") But in the end, it's all about the delightful sugar fix of those bountiful hooks, and Metric delivers more sweet treats than an extra-large Easter basket.

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I think Metric have the ability to make great songs, but sometimes fall flat on overall ALBUM appeal. Collect Call is my favorite from the new album. Most of the songs are pretty catchy and original, which is why I like them so much in the first place.

Pretty fair review Jim.

I don't think you get the album or the song Gimme Sympathy. The song, and much of the album, is so clearly about NOT trying to 'measure up' all the time, whether about your career, your material belongings, or whatever. It's about liberating yourself from the very need to ask yourself who you want to be (out of existing people, benchmarks for success, etc.), pointing out that you don't compare yourself, or try to live up to social ideas of success. Instead, you be yourself, appreciate that for what it is, and let it go that you'll make mistakes. That's what stepping up to the flame is about. This is how I read it, at any rate.

This album is BEAUTIFUL and Brilliant! And most certainly deep. Few cover so many key world and introspective issues so eloquently.

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This page contains a single entry by Jim DeRogatis published on April 7, 2009 1:35 PM.

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