Time flies, when you're writing for a blog on music. It's nearly three years ago that the previous album, 'Synthetica', of Metric received a close to favourable review on this blog. Read more here:(http://wonomagazine.blogspot.nl/2012/11/synthetica-metric.html. Not that much has changed since 2012. Metric plays its form of pop music, with some 80s doom and gloom in the background or even foreground. The voice of Emily Haines is still an important factor to this music.
Metric's music also still has two faces for me. I'm not one for the synthesizer, synthetic sounds of the 80s. The rules for playing and making music at the time were so strict, that every form of joy or fun coming through the melody was totally forbidden it seemed, on the punishment of being ostracised from the new wave ranks or something. There were some exceptions of course and Metric, ceteris paribus, would have been one of them. Just listen to what a joy 'Fortunes' is. Warmth, emotions, great chorus and some beautiful melodies. Like the rays of the sun shining through holes in a roof or the leaves of trees in a forest. Emily Haines escapes the restraints of the 80s musical context with ease, as do her musical companions as soon as they have the chance.
It is moments like these that Metric very much gets on my good side. More than 'Synthetica' ever did even. Pagans in Vegas -who isn't there? Are not all visitors paying homage to one armed bandits and greed?- has been played regularly in the past weeks and slipped back into the tray of the cd player or selected on the iPod.
Fans of the Asteroids Galaxy Tour can go after this album without much trouble. Just like fans of the voice of one of the lady singers in Rah Rah should hear something to their liking. English singer Dee can be heard in here somewhere also, if we leave out the angry part.
It is with songs like the vocoder driven 'Cascades' that Metric swings back to my other side as fast as it swung hither. A very subdued song, dark and filled with the sort of rules I hated 34 years ago. I get the feeling that as soon as singer Haines let's her enthusiasm take the better of her, things get more fun. Or as soon as the guys in the band allow her to. Whichever it is, that are the moments I like Metric best. Like in the intro of 'For Kicks', where Metric meets The Cure. Strangely enough I like the stricter part here better than the chorus, which is a bit too mellow. The guitar comes back in a Depeche Mode way in 'Too Bad, So Sad', with a Blood Red Shoes kind of aah aah. Oh, I like this one.
Taking it all in I find that I like Pagans in Vegas best if I listen to it when I'm doing something else, like cooking the dinner e.g. Listening exclusively to the album is somewhat harder. Simply put there are better albums to devote my scarce spare time to, while Pagans in Vegas is good enough to play regularly. A strange position for a record to be in perhaps, but I am alright with that.
You can listen to 'Lie Lie Lie' here:
or buy on Bol.com