Review Summary: Don't be fooled by the first listens. Fantasies is deceptively average and dull.8 of 9 thought this review was well written
...so Metric released a new album. Entitled Fantasies, it builds upon a an already illustrious career for frontwoman Emily Haines, of Broken Social Scene. I don’t know about you, but I was beginning to see a trend here in 2009. I don’t remember many other years where there have been such successful releases from women artists. Regina Spektor, St. Vincent, and Bat For Lashes, to name a few, all managed to find their own little slice of the pie that is 2009’s musical output. And with Imogen Heap planning a release soon, all signs point towards 2009 being a much more feminine year. Would Haines follow the trend? Let’s take a look at what Fantasies brings to the table...
To be brutally honest, this album is pretty average. Haines’ voice, reminiscent of Torquil Campbell of Stars if you ask me, isn’t spectacular. The vocals don’t bring the album down, it just sounds like she would be much better suited over a lone acoustic guitar rather than heavily produced, guitar-based songs. The synthesizer works well in a few songs, but seems quite trite after multiple listens. A few listens through, and I found myself infatuated with the catchy hooks and synthesizers. Given ensuing listens, and my opinion changed rather dramatically. Every song not entitled “Help I’m Alive,” “Gold Guns Girls,” or “Gimme Sympathy” became boring and skippable. These three gems do deserve a mention, though. Just as intriguing on the first listen as they are on the twentieth, these tracks are perfect for summer. Upbeat and catchy, when I fantasize about Fantasies, this is what I think of. The whole album attempts to encapsulate a very positive, upbeat feel, but these only a few songs achieve this while sounding sincere. Lesser tracks, (“Satellite Mind,” “Front Row”) feature Haines sounding desperate to be “edgy.” Her lyrics are atrocious. Don’t listen too hard to “Gold Guns Girls” or you’ll hear, "All the gold and the guns in the world/ Couldn't get you off/ All the gold and the guns and the girls/ Couldn't get you off/ All the boys, all the choices in the world... More and more and more and more/ Is it ever gonna be enough?”
Am I being a bit tough? I just despise the feelings of infatuation after they crumble and turn to disappointment after subsequent listens. Some songs on here are great, and they deserve their due, but I find little to love on the rest, which is painstakingly average. Here’s to hoping that Metric capitalize on their strengths in the future, because they certainly have the potential to get it right.