Friday, August 21st, 2009

Metric – Help I’m Alive

And these Canadians have each other…


Anthony Easton: I once saw Emily Haines get off of the Porter Airlines flight from New York wearing purple suede slouchy boots, from Chloe. I remember this more then any other creative choice she has made; they were really nice boots.

Chuck Eddy: I’m honestly having trouble even imagining what people might like about this, especially enough to enjoy of it as a “single”. Well, there are the couple seconds of machinelike Sly Fox “Let’s Go All The Way” clanking at the beginning, and then again a few minutes in. And beyond that, I guess there’s a certain ebb and flow, maybe? But I’m stumped. And if one of you says “the singer,” I’m even more stumped.

Spencer Ackerman: Fantasies is the darkest, bleakest and best Metric record yet, and I love Metric. Here, the paranoia of a cocaine binge overpowers the band and leads them to throw a pop hook that cannot be denied into a skinnerbox of echo-filled horror. How does Emily hit those notes? You’ll be singing this chorus in the shower of the nursing home.

Ian Mathers: This isn’t a bad song, but it feels like an introduction, like it’s leading up to something. It doesn’t help much that the ‘chorus’ bit is less compelling than the rest of the song, but the portentous approach to that chorus is pretty nifty.

Anthony Miccio: Wow, these are some great parts, guys! The dramatic build, the three-chord pop-rock riff, the Pixies drone, all pretty decent. Let’s take them over to Max Martin’s house and see if he can’t come up with a chorus and help you put a song together.

John Seroff: Shares the spirit, if not the composition, of early-90’s Suzanne Vega like “99.9F” or “Blood Makes Noise“. There’s the same blend of biomechanical paranoia, longing resignation and relentless drive buoyed up by strong drums and beguilingly flat and sweet vocals. What’s missing is climax; the roller coaster keeps chugging up, cresting, plugging along, climbing again, coasting, rising… but none of that potential energy ever gets realized. There’s an argument to be made that “Help”‘s claustrophobic monotony supports the song’s lyrical thru-line of unrequited desire and emotional paralysis, but when the song goes on for almost two minutes too long, you can’t hardly help but want it to build or break or something.

Matt Cibula: Too much “Sweet,” not enough “Jane.”

Martin Kavka: This sounds as if Emily Haines is playing a 7″ single of The Breeders’ “Divine Hammer” at 33rpm.

Alex Ostroff: The newly sleek and mannered Metric can’t help but bring to mind former roommates the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Ergo, the best and worst thing about “Help I’m Alive” is the degree to which it is reminiscent of “Zero”. But where “Zero” fulfills the promise of its tense verses, exploding into the chorus of the year, “Help I’m Alive” ratchets up the tension, but can’t deliver a sufficiently anthemic payoff. Can’t they just release “Gold Guns Girls” already?

Additional Scores

Dan MacRae: [1]
Michaelangelo Matos: [5]
Martin Skidmore: [4]
Alfred Soto: [6]

3 Responses to “Metric – Help I’m Alive”

  1. I think the appealing thing about this song is that it’s not too abrasive and there’s a lady singing it. I don’t even like Help I’m Alive very much, yet it’s the only song on the modern rock station that I stop for these days. Because it’s not too abrasive and a lady sings it, and it reminds me (in a good way) of how modern rock radio used to be chock-full of female voices like this in the nineties, embarrassing though those voices might now seen (K’s Choice, Heather Nova, etc.)

  2. Er, seem.

  3. Song is a rip off fromthe breeders