Album Review: Metric – Pagans in Vegas

Published by JB

Metric – Pagans in Vegas

Release date: September 18, 2015


Back in 2009 Metric pulled the Evel Knievel of their career by leaping over the tag of being a curious, cool Canadian band (that included members of the critically-acclaimed extended family known as Broken Social Scene), and into a bona fide power pop juggernaut; picking up where bands like Garbage stopped short and had slowly faded away.   Metric’s 6th album, Pagans in Vegas and 2nd album since 2009’s Fantasies is more of the beautifully, twisted electronic pop that bubbles off the turntable; intertwined by the girlschool charm and innocence of one Emily Haines.2015-06-09_ImagineMetric_D3_28mm-4085

Her voice sounds innocent.  Her words speak so much more.   Screaming “I Want it All” from ‘The Shade’, Haines has teeth in her lyrics and has the innate ability to deliver knives through your heart in the most innocuous yet innocent way possible.   The more she pushes at you the more you want her.  The back and forth melody of ‘Fortunes’ shows Haines at her most dynamic and beautiful.  At the 1:07 mark the song breaks free from the mundane synth beat and turns into a beautiful pop drama, only to go back and forth a few times more.   It’s a microcosm of Emily Haines and the cerebral brand of rock and pop that she’s perfected in a dozen years with Metric.  How did she get so good?

‘Cascades’ is the bubbly masterpiece that Fantasies and Synthetica (their stellar 2012 release) have built up towards.   With a 1987 Prince-like synth line and a bass dribble that bounces off the walls it’s blazing perfection for 5 minutes.  Given that, Haines will no doubt develop it into an acoustical encore masterpiece in about 2016.   Hidden behind the power and the rock is great songwriting prowess, with the ability to deliver hooks that piggyback on top of the grooves.  It’s not just good enough to find the right beat.  It has to be catchy.  Haines and Team Metric do it right, all over again.2015-06-09_ImagineMetric_D610_70-200-1799

P.S.  Since we get to write anything we want, how about cracking away from the industry-fucked up-standard of 3 years between albums?   Deal us a solid and drop us a Beach House (2 albums in 8 weeks), or next year at latest.  Shake it up a little, kick out a lazy band member, or just throw the synths in the garbage.   Let the boys sing a couple more (loving ‘The Other Side’) while you do more harmonies Em.   These last three albums give the impression you’re at the top of your game.   Surprise us.   Soon.   xoxoxo


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