Art of Doubt is Metric's seventh studio album in the band's 20 years of operations. It released in early september with little to no fanfare, and while it fails to impress compared to the fourtet's previous effort, it still carries enough punch and a few standout singles to deserve a spot in our monthly playlist.
Love you back
'Love you back' is the track that feels the most 'Metric'-y to me. From the punchy, bouncy bass- and synth line in the early beats of the song, up to Emily Haines' hypnotic vocals, this is definitely the one track that will make or break your relationship with the band. If you're satisfied with the aggressive snares in the background, aren't bothered by the repetitive lyrics or the highly unimaginative 'la-la-la' hook (what year is this?), you'll probably love the album.
Underline the black
If you can get through its uninspired lyrics, 'Underline the black' is a surprisingly solid song, with a beautiful wavy synth line that complements Joshua Winstead's strings perfectly. At barely over 4 minutes of runtime, 'Underline the black' is one of the album's shortest tracks - and yet it manages to leave a lasting impression. The perfect song for Amsterdam's rainy days, and one you'll be humming under the shower for a long time to come.
Dressed to suppress
'Dressed to suppress' is my absolute pick for this album. Opening with a Vangelis-like brilliant Moog-powered synth track, Haines' eerie vocals quickly roll 'Dressed to Suppress' into a bassy earworm. At just under 120 BPM, the track carries an incredible amount of energy and effectively communicates a wide range of emotions without overstaying its welcome. 'Her beauty is a form of charity - dressed to suppress all kinds of sorrows', sings Haines, and we can't help but think she might be referring to what's by far the best track in Metric's Art of Doubt. An absolute triumph.
'Art of Doubt' is a curious album. Despite at least three years of production (Metric's last studio album dates back to 2015), it feels very undercooked. The sound mix in particular is all over the place, and the album itself lacks a bit in identity as it jumps idiosyncratically from one genre to the other.
But Haines' vocals and the brilliant mix of 80's-inspired synth and grungy Canadian rock help save 'Art of Doubt' and deliver at least a couple of tracks that are good enough to land on anyone's weekly rotation - fans and non fans alike.
If you like this also check out: Tegan and Sara, Emily Haines & The Soft Skeletons, Now Now.
Metric stuff you might have heard in the wild: 'Black Sheep' (from Scott Pilgrim vs. The World), 'Help I'm Alive' (from some artsy Canon advertisements)
Metric in Amsterdam: Not really, but they have an upcoming show in Utrecht (15 november 2018, tickets from ~20 eur)