Fantasies by Metric This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

September 24, 2010
You've probably heard of Metric. You might be shaking your head right now, but yes, you probably have. Ever since their first proper album release in 2003, this Canadian band has been a mainstay of the indie music scene. Fronted by the charmingly manic Emily Haines, they gained more mainstream traction earlier this year following their inclusion in the soundtrack to the latest Twilight movie.

Purists will argue that Metric's best album was their first. But purists will almost without fail argue that band's best album was their first. But for me, 2009's Fantasies is one of the most unique, consistent records released in the past few years, and is by far Metric's best album.

Fantasies does not have a single weak track. Oh, there are certainly highlights, but it's impossibly to call the album front-loaded or to argue that all the best tracks are saved for last. Fantasies opens with "Help I'm Alive", an atmospheric song with an urgent, thudding refrain. "Sick Muse" is more guitar-based, while "Gimme Sympathy" is fantastically summery, and full of clever oldies references.

Fantasies also marks a slight shift away from Metric's previously strictly guitar-centered music. The album's two slowest tracks, "Satellite Mind" and "Collect Call", clearly reflect this new sound. On both songs Emily Haines's clear, piercing voice weaves a haunting melody over dreamy synths. "Blindness", the most stripped-down song on the album, is also possibly the most beautiful and complex. By the time time you reach stomping, triumphant closer "Stadium Love", Fantasies will have taken you on an emotional whirlwind through many recognizable musical genres and a few that Emily Haines might have invented on the spot. And hopefully you will have enjoyed every minute.

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