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]

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.[6][7] 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."[8]

Reception[edit]

Critical response[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 71/100[9]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 4/5 stars[6]
The A.V. Club B[10]
Consequence of Sound 3.5/5 stars[11]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[12]
The Independent 3/5 stars[13]
NME 7/10[14]
NOW 4/5 stars[15]
Pitchfork Media 7.0/10[16]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[17]
Spin 8/10[18]

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".[9]

Synthetica ranked at number 13 on Spinner's The 50 Best Albums of 2012.[19] The album also featured on Spin's Top 50 Albums of 2012 at the number 47.[20]

On 13 June 2013 the album was named a longlisted nominee for the 2013 Polaris Music Prize.[21]

Commercial performance[edit]

Synthetica debuted at number two on the Canadian Albums Chart, selling 16,000 copies.[22] In the United States, the album debuted at number twelve on the Billboard 200,[23] selling 27,000 copies in its first week.[24]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written and composed by Metric.[25]

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.[26]

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[27] 21
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[28] 132
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[29] 113
Canadian Albums Chart[30] 2
French Albums Chart[31] 91
German Albums Chart[32] 78
Irish Albums Chart[33] 48
Irish Independent Albums Chart[34] 5
Swiss Albums Chart[35] 59
UK Albums Chart[36] 51
UK Indie Albums Chart[37] 7
US Billboard 200[23] 12
US Alternative Albums[38] 1
US Independent Albums[39] 2
US Top Rock Albums[40] 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. ^ a b Sendra, Tim. "Metric. Synthetica. Review". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  7. ^ Joshua Ostroff (28 October 2013). "Metric On Recording Lou Reed Duet 'The Wanderlust'". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 12 December 2013. 
  8. ^ "Metric's Emily Haines Makes Style Poetic". refinery29. refinery29. August 2013. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  9. ^ a b "Synthetica – Metric". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  10. ^ Mincher, Chris (12 June 2012). "Metric: Synthetica". The A.V. Club. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  11. ^ Mojica, Frank (14 June 2012). "Album Review: Metric – Synthetica". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 9 August 2013. 
  12. ^ Costa, Maddy (21 June 2012). "Metric: Synthetica – review". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  13. ^ Gill, Andy (30 June 2012). "Album: Metric, Synthetica". The Independent. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  14. ^ Avron, Hayley (22 June 2012). "Metric - Synthetica". NME. Retrieved 13 September 2013. 
  15. ^ Boles, Benjamin (7 June 2012). "Metric - Synthetica". NOW magazine. IPC Media. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  16. ^ Perpetua, Matthew (11 June 2012). "Metric: Synthetica". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  17. ^ Johnston, Maura (12 June 2012). "Synthetica". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  18. ^ Modell, Josh (14 June 2012). "Metric, Synthetica". Spin. Buzz Media. Retrieved 18 May 2013. 
  19. ^ "The 50 Best Albums of 2012 - Spinner". 
  20. ^ "SPIN's 50 Best Albums of 2012 - SPIN - Year-End Lists - Best Albums". 
  21. ^ "Polaris Music Prize Unveils 2013 Long List". Exclaim!, 13 June 2012.
  22. ^ Dowling, Marianne (20 June 2012). "Rush's 'Angels' flies up the charts". Jam! Canoe.ca. Retrieved 20 June 2012. 
  23. ^ a b "Metric – Chart history: Billboard 200". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  24. ^ Kaufman, Gil (20 June 2012). "Usher Tops Billboard Chart With Looking 4 Myself". MTV News. MTV Networks. Retrieved 22 June 2012. 
  25. ^ Syntethica at Discogs (list of releases). Retrieved 9 August 2012.
  26. ^ Synthetica (CD liner notes). Metric. Metric Music International. 2012. MET80112. 
  27. ^ "Metric – Synthetica". australian-charts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  28. ^ "Metric – Synthetica" (in Dutch). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  29. ^ "Metric – Synthetica" (in French). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  30. ^ "Metric – Chart history: Canadian Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  31. ^ "Metric – Synthetica" (in French). lescharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 24 July 2012. 
  32. ^ "Metric, Synthetica" (in German). charts.de. Media Control. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  33. ^ "Top 75 Artist Album, Week Ending 28 June 2012". Chart-Track. Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 29 June 2012. 
  34. ^ "Top 10 Independent Artist Albums, Week Ending 28 June 2012". Irish Recorded Music Association. Chart-Track. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  35. ^ "Metric – Synthetica". swisscharts.com. Hung Medien. Retrieved 4 July 2012. 
  36. ^ "Official UK Albums Top 100". Official Charts Company. 7 July 2012. Archived from the original on 1 July 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  37. ^ "2012 Top 40 Independent Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. 7 July 2012. Retrieved 1 July 2012. 
  38. ^ "Metric – Chart history: Alternative Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  39. ^ "Metric – Chart history: Independent Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 
  40. ^ "Metric – Chart history: Top Rock Albums". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 29 August 2013. 

External links[edit]