Pagans in Vegas
by David Chiu
Following the same sonic vein of its last two albums, Metric continues its winning streak with Pagans in Vegas, another strong band effort. While certainly dance-oriented, Pagans crosses the line between an electronic, pop and art-rock concept record, which makes the sound all the more interesting. Thematically, the lyrics border between somber, maybe even dark, introspection and celebratory bombast. There’s a lot of dynamic rockers the permeate the record like the anthemic Fortunes, the yearning “The Shade,” and the playful “For Kicks”; “Too Bad, Too Sad” sounds like a contemporary update of a vintage Nancy Sinatra song, while “The Governess” has a bit of country-twang. The last two songs, “The Face parts I and II,” evokes something out of David Bowie from his Berlin trilogy face. The band’s musicianship again is spot on, highlighted by Emily Haines’s vocals—even co-hort James Shaw shows some soulful singing on “Other Side.” Sort of indicative of the records’ title, there’s something both dangerous and escapist in Metric’s music, but nonetheless exciting.