Synthetica

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Synthetica
Studio album by Metric
Released 12 June 2012
Recorded Giant Studios
(Toronto, Ontario)
Electric Lady Studios
(New York City, New York)
Genre Indie rock, new wave
Length 43:11
Label Metric Music International, Mom + Pop Music
Producer Gavin Brown, John O'Mahony, Liam O'Neil, Jimmy Shaw
Metric chronology
Plug In Plug Out
(2009)
Synthetica
(2012)
Singles from Metric
  1. "Youth Without Youth"
    Released: 1 May 2012
  2. "Breathing Underwater"
    Released: 2012
  3. "Synthetica"
    Released: 2013
  4. "Lost Kitten"
    Released: 2013

Synthetica is the fifth studio album by Canadian indie rock band Metric, released on 12 June 2012.[1] The first single, "Youth Without Youth", was released on 1 May 2012. "Speed the Collapse" was released as a sneak preview on 23 May 2012.

On 30 May 2012 the entire album was available for streaming by playing "Synthetica Hide + Seek"; this was done through an interactive word hunting game on the band's website. A deluxe version, with five additional tracks, was released on 20 November 2012.[2]

The song "Speed the Collapse" is featured on the soundtrack for the video game FIFA 13[3] and in the 2013 Grey's Anatomy episode "Things We Said Today" (season 9, episode 10).[4] The song "Breathing Underwater" is featured in the 2013 The Vampire Diaries episode "Original Sin" (season 5, episode 3).[5]

The band also put out a companion app of the same name, which allowed fans to remix the songs off of the album.[6]

History[edit]

According to Metric's frontwoman Emily Haines, Synthetica is "about forcing yourself to confront what you see in the mirror when you finally stand still long enough to catch a reflection. Synthetica is about being able to identify the original in a long line of reproductions. It's about what is real vs what is artificial".[1] The band collaborated with Lou Reed for the recording of the song "The Wanderlust", which would ultimately be his very last appearance on an original recording during his lifetime.[7][8] A unique feature of the album is that all of the lyrics in the booklet are printed backwards. Included in the CD case is a reflective piece of foil so the words can be read correctly.

Following the album's release, Haines responded to a question about the changing meaning of songs over time and stated in relation to a lyric from the title song "Synthetica": "Like, 'Hey, I'm not synthetica'—sometimes it feels like a totally victorious statement and sometimes it feels kind of beaten down … but it's just rock 'n' roll, you know. I'm not meaning to be pretentious about it at all."[9]

Mobile App[edit]

The band released a mobile app created specifically for the Synthetica album. An interview with lead singer Emily Haines revealed that the app gave the band the opportunity to revisit an artwork: “The whole point of it is that it’s an experience between us and the listener and people can be more involved. I’m really excited that we can just constantly upgrade it.”[10] The songs in the app are paired with artworks from Italian architecture group Superstudio, on which Haines commented: “I’m always looking for art, looking for things to be inspired by and connect with,” says Haines about what prompted the decision to include the images in the app. “I just found myself drawn into this world of those drawings that are abstractions of future realities, but in this case they took the conventional model of those kinds of conceptual drawings and really made a movement.”[11]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 71/100[12]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[7]
The A.V. Club B[13]
Consequence of Sound 3.5/5 stars[14]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[15]
The Independent 3/5 stars[16]
NME 7/10[17]
NOW 4/5 stars[18]
Pitchfork Media 7.0/10[19]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[20]
Spin 8/10[21]

Synthetica received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 71, based on 29 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[12]

Synthetica ranked at number 13 on Spinner's The 50 Best Albums of 2012.[22] The album also featured on Spin's Top 50 Albums of 2012 at the number 47.[23]

On 13 June 2013 the album was named a longlisted nominee for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize.[24]

Commercial performance[edit]

Synthetica debuted at number two on the Canadian Albums Chart, selling 16,000 copies.[25] In the United States, the album debuted at number twelve on the Billboard 200,[26] selling 27,000 copies in its first week.[27]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Metric.[28]

No. Title Length
1. "Artificial Nocturne"   5:42
2. "Youth Without Youth"   4:17
3. "Speed the Collapse"   3:42
4. "Breathing Underwater"   3:56
5. "Dreams So Real"   2:40
6. "Lost Kitten"   3:16
7. "The Void"   3:17
8. "Synthetica"   3:54
9. "Clone"   5:13
10. "The Wanderlust" (featuring Lou Reed) 3:10
11. "Nothing But Time"   4:04

Personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from Synthetica album liner notes.[29]

Metric
  • Emily Haines – vocals, synthesizer, guitar
  • Joules Scott-Key – drums
  • James Shaw – guitar, producer
  • Josh Winstead – bass
Additional personnel

Charts[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[30] 21
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[31] 132
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[32] 113
Canadian Albums Chart[33] 2
French Albums Chart[34] 91
German Albums Chart[35] 78
Irish Albums Chart[36] 48
Irish Independent Albums Chart[37] 5
Swiss Albums Chart[38] 59
UK Albums Chart[39] 51
UK Indie Albums Chart[40] 7
US Billboard 200[26] 12
US Alternative Albums[41] 1
US Independent Albums[42] 2
US Top Rock Albums[43] 6

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Metric Offer Peek Into Creative Process Behind Synthetica". Spin. Buzz Media. 17 April 2012. Retrieved 2 May 2012. 
  2. ^ Synthetica Deluxe.
  3. ^ "FIFA 13 Soundtrack". FIFPlay.com. FIFPlay.com. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 10 October 2013. 
  4. ^ "Metric. Soundtrack. 'Speed the Collapse'". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "The Vampire Diaries. Season 5, Episode: 3 "Original Sin" Music". TV Fanatic. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  6. ^ Bedian, Knar. "APP OF THE MONTH: The Synthetica app rebuilds Metric's songs". AUX Magazine. Retrieved 23 Dec 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Sendra, Tim. "Metric. Synthetica. Review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  8. ^ Joshua Ostroff (28 October 2013). "Metric On Recording Lou Reed Duet 'The Wanderlust'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  9. ^ "Metric's Emily Haines Makes Style Poetic". refinery29. refinery29. August 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  10. ^ Bedian, Knar. "APP OF THE MONTH: The Synthetica app rebuilds Metric's songs". AUX Magazine. Retrieved 23 Dec 2013. 
  11. ^ Bedian, Knar. "APP OF THE MONTH: The Synthetica app rebuilds Metric's songs". AUX Magazine. Retrieved 23 Dec 2013. 
  12. ^ a b "Synthetica – Metric". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  13. ^ Mincher, Chris (12 June 2012). "Metric: Synthetica". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  14. ^ Mojica, Frank (14 June 2012). "Album Review: Metric – Synthetica". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  15. ^ Costa, Maddy (21 June 2012). "Metric: Synthetica – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  16. ^ Gill, Andy (30 June 2012). "Album: Metric, Synthetica". The Independent. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  17. ^ Avron, Hayley (22 June 2012). "Metric - Synthetica". NME. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  18. ^ Boles, Benjamin (7 June 2012). "Metric - Synthetica". NOW magazine. IPC Media. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  19. ^ Perpetua, Matthew (11 June 2012). "Metric: Synthetica". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  20. ^ Johnston, Maura (12 June 2012). "Synthetica". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  21. ^ Modell, Josh (14 June 2012). "Metric, Synthetica". Spin. Buzz Media. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  22. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2012 - Spinner". 
  23. ^ "SPIN's 50 Best Albums of 2012 - SPIN - Year-End Lists - Best Albums". 
  24. ^ "Polaris Music Prize Unveils 2013 Long List". Exclaim!, 13 June 2012.
  25. ^ Dowling, Marianne (20 June 2012). "Rush's 'Angels' flies up the charts". Jam! Canoe.ca. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  26. ^ a b "Metric – Chart history: Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  27. ^ Kaufman, Gil (20 June 2012). "Usher Tops Billboard Chart With Looking 4 Myself". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  28. ^ Syntethica at Discogs (list of releases). Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  29. ^ Synthetica (CD liner notes). Metric. Metric Music International. 2012. MET80112. 
  30. ^ "Metric – Synthetica". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  31. ^ "Metric – Synthetica" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  32. ^ "Metric – Synthetica" (in French). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  33. ^ "Metric – Chart history: Canadian Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  34. ^ "Metric – Synthetica" (in French). lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  35. ^ "Metric, Synthetica" (in German). charts.de. Media Control. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  36. ^ "Top 75 Artist Album, Week Ending 28 June 2012". Chart-Track. Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  37. ^ "Top 10 Independent Artist Albums, Week Ending 28 June 2012". Irish Recorded Music Association. Chart-Track. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  38. ^ "Metric – Synthetica". swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  39. ^ "Official UK Albums Top 100". Official Charts Company. 7 July 2012. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  40. ^ "2012 Top 40 Independent Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. 7 July 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  41. ^ "Metric – Chart history: Alternative Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  42. ^ "Metric – Chart history: Independent Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  43. ^ "Metric – Chart history: Top Rock Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 

External links[edit]