Thursday, June 14, 2012

metric: synthetica (mom and pop/MMI)

I feel like I need to justify even listening to this record, let alone spending enough time with it to venture a review. That’s interesting I think. It says something about me at the very least, but also, I suspect, about this website and the kind of listener it aspires to, their (your!) politics and prejudices.

My sense is that things would be different if Synthetica were a ‘purer’ kind of pop. Rowan Savage’s recent review of Saint Etienne’s latest record is a good example. Here is an album that is all about the deep pleasures of a certain kind of popular jouissance, whereby it’s precisely the sharing of the musical experience that matters most. Words and Music finds Saint Etienne both reflecting on and luxuriating in the power of pop. And we’re cool with that.

Metric? Less so. Because Metric — their sound, their look, their product endorsements — seem to embody so perfectly the twisted double-logic of the New Indie Rock: the adoption of an outsider’s perspective from safely within the inside; rebellion as the necessary gesture of a certain kind of totally sanitized rock conservatism. You know what I mean. It looks, sounds, and blogs a lot like Urban Outfitters… with over 400 retail locations worldwide and counting. Not only do Metric embody this logic, Synthetica is actually about it...

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