Metric certainly took a big stride towards arena rock with their last album, 2009’s Fantasies, but “Youth Without Youth,” the lead single from new album Synthetica, takes that idea and expands further. The guitar that opens the song, and stays the same throughout, is ripped straight out of a blueprint of a Muse song, to the point where you can imagine swarms of people fist-pumping along with the bombastic riff. In the song commentary that accompanies the track, singer Emily Haines describes how the song started off as a single verse that they had for a long time without building upon it (which might explain the repetitiveness), and she also tells us that it’s about “the decaying social state through the eyes of a depraved child,” which even sounds like something Muse or their arena-rock counterparts Green Day might sing about.The saving grace of the song is the story that is told, which shows nice character development; something that Haines has shown that she is strong at writing several times in the past, both as Metric’s singer and a solo artist.
“Youth Without Youth” is an obvious choice as lead single as it is catchy without the listener having to invest much attention. However, the song doesn’t behold much replay value and we can only hope that it sounds a little more interesting in the context of Synthetica.