Album Review: Metric – Fantasies (Deluxe Edition)

By on Wednesday, 16th June 2010 at 12:00 pm

Originally released early last year, Canadian indie rock band Metric‘s fourth studio album ‘Fantasies’ has now been re-released as a deluxe edition, with a bonus disc that features two bonus studio tracks, 3 acoustic tracks, three remixes and two acoustic covers. As I trust that TGTF readers are on the cutting edge of music, most of you have probably heard the incredible album that recently won the Juno Award for Alternative Album of the Year. But if you were living under a rock, then you’ve really missed out: ‘Fantasies’ is album that perfectly balances glam and killer hooks with brooding introspection. It can be gritty and powerful in places and soft and haunting in others, and it is packed with crowd-pleasers like ‘Help I’m Alive’ and their newest single ‘Stadium Love’ (watch the video below).

But I unfortunately can’t say the same for the bonus album: the juxtaposition of Emily Haines’s baby voice with the pounding drums and powerful riffs of ‘Fantasies’ makes for a thrilling dynamic that doesn’t shine through as much in the acoustic versions of ‘Gimme Sympathy,’ ‘Help I’m Alive’ and ‘Sick Muse’. When not tempered with gritty guitars and drums, Haines’s vocals are almost too sweet. The remixes are unimaginative and unnecessary, as the songs that are remixed (again, ‘Gimme Sympathy,’ ‘Help I’m Alive’ and ‘Sick Muse’,) are perfectly dance-able as they are.  It would have been more interesting to hear remixes or alternate versions of the less well-known tracks like ‘Collect Call’ or ‘Front Row,’ rather than packing an album with multiple versions of the same 3 songs. As for the new songs, ‘Waves’ is a good effort, but lacks that extra spark that makes the original album so special. ‘Gates’ is very simple, with just Emily’s vocals over acoustic guitar, and while it is certainly pretty, it almost feels unfinished.

The bright spots in the otherwise underwhelming bonus disc are the two cover tracks. Their cover of Pink Floyd’s ‘Nobody Home’ sees guitarist James Shaw take over vocals, and the results are pretty good. His low, rough voice works well against the simple piano backing, and the arrangement is true to the original, just without the horns and the strings. Without Neil Young’s southern drawl, their cover of ‘Sugar Mountain,’ also sung by Shaw, sounds a bit like Cat Stevens, and in my opinion is the best track on the disc.

As much as I love the original album, the bonus disc is a hodge-podge of tracks that don’t seem to have been given much thought beyond “could a bonus album make us more money?,” and that’s a shame. I can only hope that Metric puts more thought into it when they decide to record their next album. But as for this Deluxe Edition, unless you’re a super-fan, I’d recommend saving your money and just going for the original.


Full Track Listing After The Cut

Metric – ‘Fantasies’ (Deluxe Edition) Track Listing

Disc One:
1. Help I’m Alive
2. Stadium Love
3. Satellite Mind
4. Sick Muse
5. Twilight Galaxy
6. Cold Guns Girls
7. Collect Call
8. Front Row
9. Gimme Sympathy
10. Blindness
Disc Two:
11. Gimme Sympathy (Acoustic)
12. Help I’m Alive (Acoustic)
13. Waves
14. Sick Muse (Adam Freeland Remix)
15. Help I’m Alive (The Twelves Remix)
16. Nobody Home (Pink Floyd Cover)
17. Sugar Mountain (Neil Young Cover)
18. Sick Muse (Acoustic)
19. The Gates
20. Gimme Sympathy (Adam Freeland Remix)

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One Response

8:37 pm
3rd December 2010

Check out my HOUSE REMIX of “Gold Guns Girls” here->

-Kid Klassic

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