Release Date: Sep 26, 2006
Record label: Last Gang
Genre(s): Indie, Rock
The world hardly needs another Cat Power wannabe, let alone one who - initially at least - appears undistinguishable from umpteen fragile female singer-songwriters. Emily Haines' breathy voice lacks range and sometimes character; her piano-playing could do with more embellishing; her lyrics stick to shattered relationships, depression and wasted time. What Haines does have, however, is an alchemist's mastery of the minor key, a way with smudgy, melancholy melodies that gives her album a lambent gleam.
Joining Leslie Feist, Amy Millan, and Neko Case, Metric's Emily Haines rides the wave of Canadian female artists breaking away from their male-dominated co-ops with her debut, Knives Don't Have Your Back, a collaboration with myriad Toronto/Montreal scenemates. Yet where those aforementioned Canuck beauties sing love songs about mushrooms, whiskey, and birds, respectively, Haines reads a tome of pills, crowd surfing, and maids – the life of a girl on the road. Melancholy, piano-driven melodies like album highlight "Reading in Bed" – "With all the luck you've had, why are your songs so sad?" – balance beauty with irony.