Metric's new record is a strange hybrid of their very first album, Soft Rock Star, and Ladytron on a soporific. It's too soon for me to say whether it's good or bad, but there are certain production choices that are causing intermittent twitching behind my eyes (so bad, then?).
I could never say that something "sounds like Tangerine Dream" and mean it as an insult, so trust that I only mean the best possible things when I say that the best parts of Synthetica sound like they would fit right in with an eighties movie scored by TD (btw, has anyone watched The Keep recently? Batshit insanity. I cannot recommend it, but I can insist that you watch it). (so good, then?)
One thing I do know: there's not a single song on this album that's danceable. This much I do expect from Metric. The closest we get is the youthful exuberance of "Nothing but Time," which is putting Metric smack in the era of Star's Ageless Beauty, which, by the way, is the same era when Metric was kicking everyone's asses with songs like "Poster of a Girl" and "Empty."
As with most Metric albums, however, the proof lies in the live show. I can see how some of these songs take life on the stage. And lest I forget, there's one truly standout track: "The Wanderlust," featuring what is possibly the strangest, most random guest vocal in history (Lou Reed, muthafuckahs!).
I will leave you with remembrances of Metric from a better time, with the superlatively creative video for "Combat Baby":