Pagans in Vegas
Sep 15, 2015 Issue #54 - August/September 2015 - CHVRCHES
Old World Underground, Where Are You Now? aged with such grace that it still prompts the question: Why weren't Metric pulled into the popular ring when it debuted in 2003? Its snappy guitar lines and whiplashed words were poppy enough for the radio but smirked with its own personality. With each album that followed, Metric fought harder to gain the spotlight they narrowly missed, ultimately sacrificing integrity and musical wit, a choice that simultaneously dims their hooks and audience's stimuli. Pagans in Vegas sees them descend one step further.
Emily Haines forks up her lush, sultry, endearing vocals for distanced delivery. "Fortunes" sees her parting through baritone fields and "The Governess" opts for talk-singing about a guilt-driven empire. The rest, particularly "Lie Lie Lie" and "The Shade," filters through enough vocalizer to shed the distancing charm of Synthetica in favor of a nonsensical tone akin to Animal Crossing's singing cartoon dog, K.K. Slider.
That doesn't mean it's without its moments. Metric's slower numbers here surprisingly take the lead. "Blind Valentine" rolls out several punches while "For Kicks" pins melodies to your skull. Even "Cascades" gets robotic with poised moves that entertain from beginning to end.
Fantasies and Synthetica were a slow descent downwards, but it's Pagans In Vegas and its 12 tracks of tired melodies that sees Metric part with what gave them edge in the beginning: sharp lyrics, double-time guitar riffs, and a pen that writes without an awareness of the media. As the album closes with a two-part pairing of instrumentals obeying "The Face," we lose whatever pop focus guided the album.
Metric aren't holding a belief different than those of the mainstream; they're as religiously wedded to Billboard charts as they are to the motions-fading out with a blurry bow to an unrecognizable deity confirms that. (www.ilovemetric.com)
Author rating: 4.5/10
Average reader rating: 6/10
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