3/29/2010

39 minutes and 10 seconds of unfulfilled potential.

First three adjectives that come to mind when listening to this album:
Lacking
Electronic
Unfulfilled

Three favorite songs on album:
"Hardwire"
"Rock Me Now"
"Raw Sugar"


At just 39 minutes, and 10 seconds, Metric's Grow Up and Blow Away is a short, mediocre attempt at an album. It lacks the depth and intrigue that their previously released album, Live It Out, contained. The album isn't a complete waste, however. With songs such as "Raw Sugar" and "Rock Me Now," it's obvious that Metric has talent.

Recorded between 1999–2001, Grow Up and Blow Away was meant to be Metric's debut, but due to record label mishaps, it wasn't for sale commercially until 2007. Thus, at that time, Metric only consisted of Emily Haines and James Shaw (two other members to be added with later albums). If the name Emily Haines sounds slightly familiar, it's because she's been around the indie rock block. Not only is she the front woman for Metric, she has her own solo project (Emily Haines & The Soft Skeleton), as well as adding key ingredient vocals to the super group Broken Social Scene. With all those accolades, I may have set the expectation bar too high.

Grow Up and Blow Away starts off with the mellow-eerie, yet catchy-electronic-pop track by the same name as the album. The chorus resounds "If this is the life / Why does it feel so good to die today? / Blue to gray / Grow up and blow away." Next up is the track "Hardwire." This track ended up being one of my favorites. The slow guitar strumming builds up to a full bodied chorus that teased me with its potential, but the rest of the album didn't keep this promise.

The song that stuck with me the most on the album was "Rock Me Now." Filled with a jazzy, electronic beat that leads into spoken word poetry about ancestors and Las Vegas. This song makes me wish Emily Haines wrote a poetry book instead of Jewel.

The rest of the album slides along with only a few stand out songs. Other than that, it's mostly forgettable.

I would highly recommend purchasing a Metric album. But, spring for Live It Out instead of Fantasies or Grow Up and Blow Away. It contains a bit more depth (or a lot more in comparison to Fantasies), focusing on consumerism, feminism and sanity.

Album design:
There are only a few elements that are note worthy as far as album design goes. The typography used for the word "Metric" is interesting and set in a hand drawn stencil look. Also, the font chosen for "Grow Up and Blow Away" is chaotic in a handwritten kind of way.

The album photograph on the cover is that of a burned, decaying building. Above that building are two little childlike (sketched) figures with balloons. The image of the building is cropped in a way that makes it slightly disorienting. It left me feeling as though I was looking at an unfinished design school project.

The liner notes aren't as disappointing as the outside of the album cover. It contains a few photos and sketchbook type doodling with lyrics that show an inside look at the musicians and their process. I like the personal glimpse this provides however, the album design is just as mediocre as the music.



Next Up:
Malajube, Trompe-L'Oeil (2006)