empireofthesun

Artist: Empire of the Sun

Album: Walking on a Dream

Released: October 4, 2008

Label: EMI

 

I have listened to this song so many times it became funny again after it wasn’t even funny. Empire of the Sun is a collaboration between two guys I have never heard of (Luke Steele and Nick Littlemore) from a country I have never heard of (Australia). Their album “Walking on a Dream” captured my attention due to the album cover’s awesomeness, horribleness, what have you, either way the cover got my attention. On many occasions the cover means nothing to me; many album covers are covers that only mothers could love, this one comes to mind. But that doesn’t mean the music is horrible.

To make a long story shorter, I looked up Empire of the Sun and liked what I heard. There are some great tracks on the album; most notable being “We Are the People” and “Half Mast” but the song that got my booty shakin’ and quakin’ was the title track, “Walking on a Dream.” It is catchier than an addicting substance sipped through a crazy straw.

I don’t want to compare the duo to MGMT but it is easy to do so even if their music is not necessarily that similar. Empire of the Sun’s songs are electronic but have too much guitar to be electronic, you know what I mean? You don’t? Well than just listen to the song.

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Fantasies Review

April 20, 2009

fantasies-metric-reduced1  Artist: Metric

  Album: Fantasies

  Released: April 14, 2009

  Label: Metric/Last Gang

 

              

For those of you unfamiliar with Metric, the band hails from Canada and plays energetic pop-rock written by the dazzling Emily Haines.  Haines is also the main vocalist and gained a great deal of fame as a member of Broken Social Scene, especially for her song “Anthems for a Seventeen Year-Old Girl” off the album “You Forgot It in People.”

Metric has been touring mostly in Canada since their last truly new material came out four years ago as Live It Out.  Grow Up and Blow Away was released in 2007, but was comprised of old material that would chronologically have been their first album; situating it between their “Static Anonymity EP” and “Old World Underground Where Are You Now?”  During the past four years Emily Haines has released two solo albums under the name Emily Haines and the Soft Skeleton.  Metric’s latest album is evidence that if Haines didn’t come into her own as a writer while solo, then she certainly found a new center before “Fantasies.”

The album kicks off with “Help I’m Alive,” an almost mesmerizing song that teeters between brazen pop and well, even more brazen pop.  The song uses the driving energy of their more punk rock albums and explodes it with echoing synth and hissing ambience.  “Satellite Mind” is the quintessence of classic Metric rock, with pounding bass and exhilarating vocals.  “Twilight Galaxy” lets the energy level drop and showcases the more chill side of the band, maintaining that aspect demonstrated before in songs like “Calculation Theme.”  The first few times I listened through the album “Gold Guns Girls” always took me by surprise  The guitar intro is jarring and throws the listener back into a vigorous rhythm and sharp riff, which is a minor shock coming straight out of the previous track.

“Gimme Sympathy” is incredibly catchy, indeed it was deemed “dangerously catchy” by N. Smith the first time he heard it.  It is catchy on the level where you find yourself humming it the following day.  “Collect Call,” “Front Row,” and “Blindness” is the only part of the album that might be considered a lull.  Those three tracks are well written, but lack the distinction that most of the songs on “Fantasies” exude.  The album closes with the roaring synth and raucous drumming of “Stadium Love.”

The lyrics of “Fantasies” contain a great deal of uncertainty, but the music is assured and even grand.  It is a sort of confidence in uncertainty, which is probably a result of Emily Haines’ soul-searching time spent in Buenos Aires prior to writing “Fantasies.”  The lyrical material is broad, and focuses on human interaction on a personal level more than previous albums.  Personal doubt is ubiquitous at times as in “Help I’m Alive,” and rebellion in the face of relationship confines seems to be the topic of “Sick Muse.”

Metric also revisits political/social criticism with “Gold Guns Girls,” where they censure material greed as well as objectification of women.  However, this song does not target a population directly, but is addressed to a particular person – another example of the personal level of “Fantasies.”  In what is absolutely the catchiest song on the album, “Gimme Sympathy” pleads with you to stick with unknowns and real feeling – and why wouldn’t you?  The finale of “Fantasies” is “Stadium Love,” and Haines displays the confidence that has always been there as she assures the listeners that “No one’s getting out, Without stadium love.”

 

You can hear the whole album here:

http://www.ilovemetric.com/