Metric’s eighth studio album is titled “Formentera.” It is an alternative rock album by a Canadian band. The name of the album came out in the description of the music video for the first single, “All Comes Crashing.” The album is set to come out in July 2022.
The name of the album comes from a Spanish island where the band probably wrote it while they were there.
With a career that is now in its fourth decade, Metric has confidently gone its own way, avoiding many of the big changes in the music industry over the last twenty years. As the post-punk revival was in full swing, the band’s sound quickly became more ambitious, reaching its peak with “Fantasies” in 2009 and providing the standout track for “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” the next year. Metric isn’t the only band from the 2000s to have hit singles and be on a popular soundtrack, but unlike many of their contemporaries, they’re still going strong.
The band has been a bit too safe and smooth for most of the last ten years, but on “Formentera,” they go for a more cinematic sound. It’s a good decision. “All Comes Crashing,” the band’s first single, is a clear choice for radio play, but it’s the kind of synth-rock banger they could write in their sleep at this point. When they break out of the four-minute pop box and let the songs breathe, the album really shines.
Starting with the album’s best song, “Doomscroller,” the band sets up a thick, late-night groove while singer Emily Haines paints a hypnotic picture of life in a pandemic. It sounds like it could have been made by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross, and the angst-filled club chorus is a great addition. The title track is more regal. It has sweeping strings and a driving bass line that come together to make a dream pop song with a bad attitude. It perfectly shows how everyone longs for travel, normalcy, and the good old days when we were all stuck inside.
The next song, “Enemies of the Ocean,” aims for a stadium-sized sing-along, and its anthemic chorus makes it possible. The band’s not-so-secret weapon has always been Haines’ unique vocals, and this is where they shine the brightest, going from hauntingly beautiful to full-on rock goddess mode. But most of the rest of the album shows that it’s a game with two different parts. You could make a list of the numbers that stand out because they are longer than five minutes and the ones that are boring because they are shorter than five minutes. All of those songs are good synth-rock stompers, but nothing here can compare to “Help I’m Alive” or “Combat Baby.” The few moments of experimentation and mood are really impressive, but they don’t happen often enough.
The band, along with Liam O’Neil and Gus van Go, has started moving in a more interesting direction since they started recording at guitarist Jimmy Shaw’s new studio. Let’s just hope that the next time they throw caution to the wind and jump in with both feet.
- All Comes Crashing
- What Feels Like Eternity
- Enemies of the Ocean
- I Will Never Settle
- False Dichotomy
- Oh Please
- Paths in the Sky