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Synthetica

4.5 out of 5 stars 147 customer reviews

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Synthetica
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Audio CD, June 12, 2012
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Editorial Reviews

2012 release, the fifth album from the Indie Electro Rock band. According to Metric's frontwoman Emily Haines, Synthetica is "about forcing yourself to confront what you see in the mirror when you finally stand still long enough to catch a reflection. Synthetica is about being able to identify the original in a long line of reproductions. It's about what is real vs what is artificial". Features 'Youth Without Youth' and 'The Wanderlust', a collaboration with Lou Reed.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (June 12, 2012)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: MOM & POP MUSIC
  • ASIN: B007TBCTFM
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (147 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,747 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
2009's FANTASIES turned out to be pretty divise amongst long-time Metric fans. The album gained a much more electronic influence, leaving some of those who really loved OLD WORLD UNDERGROUND cold. Luckily for fans who prefer FANTASIES, Metric's new album SYNTHETICA is a continuation of the electronic indie-glam sound that the band has cultivated over the years. Metric's brand of shiny, glossy electro-rock still feels unique, and it works great with the pop conventions that the band use. The band's sound draws both from modern music, vintage 70's, and 80's new-wave, and outcome is a sound that is ultimately forward-thinking and also reverent of the past. The overall result is an album that is more consistent, and at times more enjoyable, than FANTASIES.

Drawing on themes from dependence on technology, paranoia, and isolation (the same ingredients of Radiohead's OK COMPUTER), this album works lyrically better than other Metric albums. Many of the Emily Haines lyrics evoke images of computer screens and confined spaces. The title track finds Haines protesting against an electronically-integrated life with the refrain "Hey! I'm not synthetica." These themes unite the album and make it more coherent and cogent than anything the band has released before.

SYNTHETICA begins with the band tinkering with their sound; "Artificial Nocturne," the album opener begins with a light, spacey aria before diving into a pulsing, electronic soundscape. The second-track and lead single "
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Format: Audio CD
I will admit that I was underwhelmed by the first single (Youth without Youth) off this album when it came out last month. It's a good track, but it didn't have much of Metric's sublime melodic writing in it. The rest of Synthetica is awesome, though, full of great songs. It is a great follow up to Fantasies, so if you liked that record, you will dig this one too. Breathing Underwater is a sweet track, feels like a sequel to Gimme Sympathy from Fantasies. Speed the Collapse is also the kind of track that stays with you for a long time. Is the album as good as Old World Underground? Probably not, but few albums are. If you are a fan of the melodic side of Metric (Sick Muse, Too Little Too Late, Hustle Rose...), don't let the first single put you off. This is a great record!
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Format: Audio CD
Canadian indie band Metric has been on a steady rise over the past few years, especially with their previous album Fantasies. For those who wondered if they could continue to keep up the pace and quality of that album, Synthetica is a reassuring and bold statement that they're here to stay. It's not an album that makes any radical changes to their sound but it does find them expanding their songwriting and continuing with the synthesizer rock that they do so well.

"Artificial Nocturne" is a great way to open the record. It's the kind of moody and atmospheric track that Metric excels at and fans will instantly feel at home within the soundscapes and twists that it offers. "Youth Without Youth", the album's first single, is both catchy and rife with electronic buzzes, building a half-rock, half-electronic song that sticks in your head. Again, it's nothing that Metric hasn't done before but they do what they do well and it's hard to fault them for sticking with their unique and energetic sound. "Breathing Underwater" is the album's standout track and makes great use of Emily Haines' amazing voice. This song in particular effortlessly soars and it's definitely a contender for one of their best tunes to date.

The first half of the album is solid but the second half falters just a bit. "Lost Kitten" and "Dreams So Real" are decent tracks but ultimately lack the impact and melody that they need to make a lasting impression. The dance-influenced "The Void" has some promise but the repetitive lyrics and simple song structure just never take off the hope you hope they will. Thankfully, things pick back up with the album's title track. It's an energetic and fast-paced rocker that harkens back to the band's previous album.
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Format: Vinyl
My wife, being a Canadian and being a fan of indie music, has been a huge fan of Metric since their inception. She got me into them (and into vinyl again), primarily with 2009's FANTASIES, but had me listening to LIVE IT OUT, OLD WORLD UNDERGROUND, WHERE ARE YOU, and GROW UP AND BLOW AWAY. Songs like "Poster of a Girl", "Monster Hospital", and "Combat Baby" were the songs I was weaned on, but then I came to love tracks like "Succexy", "Soft Rock Star", "Patriarch on a Vespa", and "On The Sly". When FANTASIES came, though, it was like an explosion going off. There were very few albums from the last decade that had such an immediate hold on me as the songs from FANTASIES had. "Satellite Mind", "Sick Muse", "Help, I'm Alive" and "Stadium Love" were anthemic, powerful, rousing, and more instantly lovable than any of their previous albums.

I knew that album would be hard to top, but I certainly had hope that the musical and lyrical success of FANTASIES would be at least duplicated on their new album SYNTHETICA. As the album's title might suggest, this has a more electronic sound than any of their previous albums, but this doesn't take away from the aesthetic we've come to expect from Emily Haines, Jimmy Shaw on guitar, Joules Scott-Key on percussion and Josh Winstead on bass. There is also a guest appearance by Lou Reed on the song "The Wanderlust", and while he may not have the greatest voice in the world, he's got the gravitas, being one of the grandfathers of independent music. There are beeps, sirens, klaxons and synthetic sounds galore in this album, but when you strip it bare, you still get piano or synth, guitar, bass and drums and Emily's incredibly haunting and sensual voice.
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