Metric’s blend of new wave glam and indie rock cred is still alive and well in its latest album Fantasies, which delivers oozing synthesizers, disco-inspired anthems and the shiny pop gleam that makes Metric's music oh-so catchy. But, on the band’s fourth album, there is a subtle change. At the heart of Metric is singer , whose little girl voice has sung about political outrage and her stance on war, but on Fantasies, some of the armor comes off as she sings about death, romance and love, revealing a vulnerability and awareness previously unseen. In the single “Help I’m Alive,” Haines hints at the difficulties she may have had writing this album when she says things like, “hard to be soft/tough to be tender.” The band is at its best in these quieter moments, where sincerity trumps the sheen of big pop hooks.
Fantasies is an album that shows a group evolving from a fun rock band to more weathered songwriters. This won't be their best album, but it's good; you can tell Haines really put her heart into these songs. The armor isn't all the way off, but her secretive voice sounds confident in its sentiments.
Watch this great five-minute documentary on Haines, where she talks about traveling to Buenos Aires -- a place that inspired much of the album.