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Pagans in Vegas

Canadian indie-pop band delivers synth-laced real talk


Norman Wong


“I want it all!” Emily Haines sings on “The Shade,” a surging love song from this Canadian band’s sixth album. Such wide-eyed directness is a nice fit for a record that completes Metric’s decade-long move from taut, testy indie rock toward a synthier, dreamier sound. Haines’ singing is sharp but worry-worn, whether she’s navigating “cascading waves of emotion” over glowering electro-grind on “Cascades” or delivering a real-talk apology to a burnt ex on the Cure-like “For Kicks.” Best of all is “Lie Lie Lie,” a hard-hitting shot at fakeness and sexism where Haines quotes Dylan Thomas’ famous line about raging against the dying of the light — and drives it home by practicing what she preaches.


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