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Author Topic: metric- synthetica  (Read 1985 times)

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twentyshots

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metric- synthetica
« on: June 21, 2012, 12:28:15 AM »

it took a few listens to really sift through, but the more it came into focus, the better it got.

i like that it is basically a continuation of fantasies, in production and mood. it really feels like these songs were written under the same conditions and at the same time. for instance, breathing underwater could be a sister to gimme sympathy....nothing but time, a mirror to blindness. and practically all of the rest interchangeable with their previous album. unlike the complete realization that is fantasies though, this album is a little more nostalgic, has less of an edge, and takes a couple awkward turns.

the first five songs are satisfyingly rock solid, but moving on to lost kitten and, especially the void, i notice a lack of the usual conviction. they aren't terrible songs by any means, they just don't give much, comparatively speaking.
despite that brief skip though, the last four songs bring it home strong.

of that stretch, the wanderlust is a throwback to 1988 97X if i ever heard one. it's due in large part to lou reed's backing vocals (which is the best use of him in quite a while), but also something about his minimal input and the melody itself is reminiscent of the litany of modern rock collaborations of the late 80's. it is an unusual fit in the flow of the album, but the novelty of it makes it worthwhile.

overall, synthetica is sweeter and more self-reflective than fantasies. both are good albums, but fantasies still fires on all cylinders whereas synthetica drops into neutral and coasts in a few spots.

early favs: speed the collapse ,dreams so real, nothing but time

« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 12:29:59 AM by twentyshots »
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Zafer Kaya

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Re: metric- synthetica
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2012, 01:25:11 AM »

I differ with you on Wanderlust as I think it's a crap track.  And it's a crap track in a really boring "hey, check out the guest star... crazy, huh?" way.  It's not good Metric, and it's really awful Lou Reed.

Overall, I agree with you.  It's a solid effort.  I'm a little down on it unfairly because it continues the direction they've been going which is not the Old World Underground Metric I fell in love with.  But that's gone, it's not coming back, it's stupid to ask for, and I still have Old World to listen to whenever I want.  I would give it like a B+.  Definitely worth a listen to, and if you liked the last album you are going to dig this a lot as well.

Dan

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Re: metric- synthetica
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2012, 07:29:40 AM »

I have listened to this a number of times and my first impression was similar to 20's: it was pleasant to hear but the more I listened the more I liked it. It's general vibe is very good and it does indeed feel like the appropriate continuation from Fantasies. I loved loved loved that disc, though, so my expectations recognized that nothing could top it and therefore I was hesitant about Synthetica. They have restored my faith and I dig most of the album.

"Wanderlust" and the song with "all night I tried to stay up, like a fool, to prove I could keep up with you" over and over and over on it are the two tracks I dig the least. But the rest of the album is solid and I will be listening to it a bunch over the coming months.
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twentyshots

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Re: metric- synthetica
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2012, 07:51:00 AM »

i understand that view of wanderlust, which is kind of why i embedded it. i think it's the track most likely to invite opinion....because i think there is a deeper question here: how good or relevant is lou reed?

my own opinion is that that, while there's no questioning his work with the velvet underground, his solo stuff scrapes by through the 80's and wilts ever since. maybe not a shocking opinion, but i often felt that i should like lou reed more than i actually have in the past 25 years. post VU, i feel like he's settled into a very non-artistic mentality and i wonder if i need to grow to appreciate it or if he stopped growing.

i can see how his distinct cadence would divide people, but i do actually like the song for the reasons i mentioned...when the 97X signal was undulating in my basement in the late eighties there was a real trend with those songs: michael stipe and kristen hersh, ian mccolloch and elizabeth frazier, kate bush and peter gabriel, sinead oconnor and matt johnson.....and a thousand other examples.
so, there is some nostalgia on my end for sure. maybe if it was a stand alone single it could have kept this album more focused.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2012, 11:41:26 AM by twentyshots »
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bongo hard or bongo home

euro60

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Re: metric- synthetica
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2012, 11:26:15 AM »

This album is pretty much Fantasies 2, but not quite as good as Fantasies.

I agree that the appearance by Lou Reed is completely unnecessary and almost ruins what is otherwise a good song.

Not to get off track here, but speaking of Lou Reed, curiosity got the better off me the other day when I saw that Metallica/Lou Reed album "Lulu" at the library, and I picked it up. I tried listening to a few songs, but (and this is just my opinion of course) this album is simply UNLISTENABLE. Truly about as bad as I've heard in a looooooooooooooong time. What were they thinking?
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"A blind faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth" - Albert Einstein (1901)

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is one of Cincinnati's underappreciated treasures

Dan

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Re: metric- synthetica
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2012, 11:30:14 AM »

If you were in a band and had created something as great as Fantasies, what would you do as your follow up?

I think this is the perfect record for that situation, and yet I fear there will be lots of "this is Fantasies 2" comments, implying it as a negative. It should be a positive.
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euro60

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Re: metric- synthetica
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2012, 11:46:10 AM »

If you were in a band and had created something as great as Fantasies, what would you do as your follow up?

I think this is the perfect record for that situation, and yet I fear there will be lots of "this is Fantasies 2" comments, implying it as a negative. It should be a positive.
I didn't mean it to be negative actually. This is indeed the logical follow-up. The only 'negative', if you will, is that (for me) Fantasies is the slighly stronger album.

That said, Synthetica is 99.99% better than the mainstream commercial stuff out there.

As to your question what I would do as a follow-up to Fantasies, I might do a "Lulu" (see earlier post)  :police:
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"A blind faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth" - Albert Einstein (1901)

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is one of Cincinnati's underappreciated treasures

TayFo

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Re: metric- synthetica
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2012, 10:33:04 AM »

"breathing underwater" has been happily stuck in my head for a few days.
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Dan

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Re: metric- synthetica
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2012, 10:38:48 AM »

I've been listening to this more and more and am loving it more and more. It's very hummable. I like Speed the Collapse a lot, too.
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Dan

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Re: metric- synthetica
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 09:06:00 AM »

So.... this happened last night at the Metric show at Radio City Music Hall.



Sorry for the crap iphone, but that's Lou Reed singing with Metric. And as much as we may or may not like Wanderlust, it was awfully cool seeing him on stage. He stood there in his black light jacket and jeans and had limited movement, but he was up there and he was singing on time and as he should.

After Wanderlust they had the opening band come on stage as well and they all sang Pale Blue Eyes. The crowd loved it.

It's NYC - Lou lives here. I have no idea if he's actually traveling with them for the two song performance, but I'm guessing he's not. Which means it was extra cool.
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euro60

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Re: metric- synthetica
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2012, 11:13:49 PM »

Just saw your post Dan. Even though Lou Reed had no business being on Wanderlust, it had to be a kick to see him come on stage to join them. And yes that was a NYC only thing, he most definitely did not show up at the Cincinnati show a few weeks before (lest someone threw a tomato or rotten egg at him, ha!).
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"A blind faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth" - Albert Einstein (1901)

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is one of Cincinnati's underappreciated treasures

Dan

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Re: metric- synthetica
« Reply #11 on: October 23, 2012, 07:59:35 AM »




and then after that....


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euro60

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Re: metric- synthetica
« Reply #12 on: December 04, 2012, 12:16:01 PM »

For anyone interested, the deluxe edition of Synthetica is being released in 2 weeks (Dec. 18). It contains a bonus CD with the following tracks:

1. Youth Without Youth (Acoustic) 
2. Breathing Underwater (Acoustic) 
3. Synthetica (Acoustic) 
4. Gimme Sympathy (Acoustic) 
5. Strange Weather (Acoustic) 

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"A blind faith in authority is the worst enemy of truth" - Albert Einstein (1901)

The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra is one of Cincinnati's underappreciated treasures
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