Metric Fantasies

Metric Fantasies
Metric's Old World Underground teemed with bravado and danceable synth pop, while Live it Out tried to take an evolutionary leap forward. Fantasies lacks the boldness of the former and the ambition of the latter, resulting in a pleasant but mostly forgettable disc. "Help I'm Alive" sees singer Emily Haines playing her two strengths - bravado and coquettishness - against one another, creating a catchy vocal melody. However, the lyrical slenderness red flags a repeated weakness: the words seldom stand up to past Metric efforts. Ditto "Sick Muse," though Jimmy Shaw's lassoing guitar saves the song. Slow jam "Twilight Galaxy" uses deadened percussion to centre Haines's pretty lilt, building to, well, nothing. Its loveliness would suffice if the band didn't have slow-burning masterpiece "Calculation Theme" in their back catalogue. The shortcoming encapsulates Fantasies' major problem: it's palatable but ultimately uninspiring. Closer "Stadium Love" doesn't save the album, though its bizarre "Noah's Ark goes to the Roman gladiatorial ring" theme makes for an infectious curio. (Last Gang)