Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Metro (1982) – Berlin

“The Metro” showcases an arresting arrangement of synthesizers which cast an austere backdrop to Terri Nunn’s recollection of an erstwhile dissolution of a Parisian romance. Dual synthesizer lines simultaneously pulsate in a nimble sequence that pogos atop seven unique notes per measure, continually propelling the song’s momentum, yet maintaining a sense of apprehension. A tight drum machine, synthetic handclaps, and metallic hi-hats denote the hurried pace of rail transit. While the tale of a woman scorned in London is not remarkable in and of itself, the array of vivid and varied tones leaves a distinct impression of wartime and police sirens; time elapses in cascades and droplets of synthesizer. Nunn’s vocals are frigid in the verse, acrimonious in the chorus. Although the break-up occurred long ago, she remains emotionally imbued with pain. Her recital of very specific details of that episode discloses her preoccupation still: white clothing, dour weather, walks along the Seine River, hollow words. She imbibes to numb the bitterness, and ends up shattering her glass in indignation. A piercing sawtooth-wave synth washes in like the tide encircling Mont Saint Michel, as a slow filter sweeps across to add slight dynamics to the solo with shades of the Soviet Bloc. As the song comes to a close, a siren—complete with Doppler Effect—pans across the listening field. Perhaps a vial emptied of its sleeping pills lies next to the shards of broken glass.

  • Listen to "The Metro" and purchase at iTunes Music Store.
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