The Occupy Wall Street protest recently reached its one-year anniversary, and it's fitting that the civil unrest that marked 2011 fueled some of the most compelling music of 2012. Synthetica, the new release from Metric, is not a direct reflection on any one political quandary but a continuation of the Canadian quartet's exploration of the personal and the political. Lead single "Youth Without Youth" paints a picture of pint-size nihilism set against a Gary Glitter drumbeat and bristling guitars that create a well-heeled riot. Singer and synthesist Emily Haines has long since mastered the icy glare and beguiling affect of the best frontladies, but Synthetica is at its best when her emotion and fury focus on a collapsing world waiting to be rebuilt.
Value-Added: If the $30 ticket price seems a bit steep, know that each ticket purchased comes with a digital download of the new album, which should find its way to the top of many best-of 2012 lists.—Christian Schaeffer