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iTunes Review

Canada’s Metric scored big in 2005 with Live It Out, a solid collection of tight and punchy, new-wave inspired rock. At the core of the band is singer Emily Haines, who also performs with the venerable Broken Social Scene, while allowing her torch song affinities to shine on solo recordings. With Metric, Haines has a brassy, sexy persona and can deliver a commanding sneer or Lolita precociousness with equal aplomb. Fans who have been waiting for Fantasies will not be disappointed; buzzing, humming guitars and incessant dance beats on tracks like  “Gold Guns Girls,” “Gimme Sympathy,” and “Sick Muse” are tempered with tracks like the twinkling “Twilight Galaxy,” the sinuous “Help I’m Alive,” and the dreamy “Collect Call.”  Whether Haines is snarling, “Cupid stuck me with a sickness” or purring, “Come on baby/I’ll pick you up and take you/ anywhere you want,” she delivers a solid punch, and together with the pop gloss on her keyboard work and the sharp edges of James Shaw’s guitars (nice twang on “Sick Muse,” dude!), Fantasies is — like Live It Out — smart and stylish pop of the highest order.

Customer Reviews

I Blame O'Mahony

Don't get me wrong: I actually really liked this album. That is, I thought the songs were good, but I kept getting the feeling that the real Metric album never released, and I was just listening to a bunch of bad remixes. And after looking at the album credits, I think I know why. Fantasies was mixed by John O'Mahony, known for his work mixing Coldplay (a prominent selling point for the album). Well, it looks like someone got a little happy with GarageBand, because I couldn't hear a single real instrument for most of the album: most of it's digitized choirs, organs, and synths. When I do hear a real guitar, it's playing riffs that sound like an Interpol B-side. The sound of this record just does not do justice to Emily Haines' considerable musical chops. And what's with O'Mahony's obsession with echoes? Nothing against Coldplay, but not every band benefits from the space-orchestra treatment. In the past, Emily's songwriting was the main thing that set Metric apart from the rest of the pop-rock scene. In Fantasies, she hasn't lost her skill. But none of these songs are her best work. Her hooks are as likely vague and fanciful as they are her usual snippets of genius. Just listen to the chorus of "Satellite Mind". Fantasies is not a bad album. A crazy-good Metric record is somewhere in all these tracks; it's just hidden under many layers of mixing. Mixing that's so bad and so hamhanded, Metric's presence is almost completely smothered. I can't wait to see Metric play these songs live -- without O'Mahony there to screw them up.


Throughout their long career, Metric has been able to continually re-invent their sound on every album while still maintaining a level of excellence. In 'fantasies', they have reached a level of musical genius that they have never shown before. Each and every track on this record is a work of art, with breath-taking vocals, insane hooks, and a lyrical genius that only Metric could match. This is easily an early contender for the Best Album of 2009.

Very Good, Not Great

We start with 10 well-written songs and the incredible promise of a band that left audiences literally trembling at SXSW in 2006 (Stubb's 3/17/06). From there, we get a yeoman's peformance that is good, but certainly not the great gutteral output seen in "Combat Baby" and their prior (2005) album. This album is pleasing to listen to and perfectly fits into the post-punk modern alternative genre, but it is too satisfied with fulfilling objectives, and doesn't "punch you in the mouth," demanding an important message be heard, as it needed to do. At times, I found myself asking, did Metric cover the Killers here? Obviously, that's not the case, but that is the feel. Its good listening and certainly worth a buy. Will this yield the song by Metric that you fall in love with? Probably not. I hope they can recapture the energy they showed from 2003-2006 in their next endeavor.


Formed: 1998 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Metric are a band with an eclectic, adventurous outlook, whose music encompasses elements of synth pop, new wave, dance-rock, and electronica and whose hometown has vacillated between Toronto, Montreal, New York, Los Angeles, and London over the course of the group's existence. Metric's story began in 1998, when vocalist/keyboardist Emily Haines met guitarist James Shaw in Toronto, Canada. Although born in New Delhi, Haines -- the daughter of Paul Haines, a Canadian-American poet best known for his...
Full Bio
Fantasies, Metric
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Alternative, Music, Indie Rock
  • Released: Apr 14, 2009
  • Parental Advisory

Customer Ratings