Fan Rant: A Call for an Emily Haines Intervention

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I’m one of those people who sometimes goes to the gym. Like everyone else, I get sucked into the many televisions strategically placed in front of the stationary bikes, elliptical machines, and treadmills. And what’s on? The same channel as always: mtvU. Insipid music videos stream steadily. News updates from ABC… which feature the FOX news logo. Blargh. Sometimes you can’t help watching the changing colors and images with voyeuristic curiosity. TV on the Radio showed up one day this week. Their video for “Golden Age” is pretty mythological and psychedelic; I’d argue that the costumes are more stimulating than the song, though.

After their video, a blonde chick appeared on-screen. She was one of those girls who sing and dance up against a microphone stand. Keyboards were placed next to her; she touched them once near the end of the song. Initially, I thought it was Ashlee Simpson. Then Heidi Montag from The Hills. And then the band was identified as Metric. It was the video for their new single, “Gimme Shelter.” Whaaat? What happened to you Emily Haines?

Stereogum dug it, but their reader comments were more focused on Haines’s short skirt, long legs, and protruding chin. While I think the new album isn’t quite representative of what she can do, as least the video for “Monster Hospital” wasn’t half bad. (Granted, the zombie monsters aren’t as killer as those in the Evil Dead…) “Gimme Sympathy” on the other hand, is really disappointing. Having the band swap instruments halfway through doesn’t work for me. Haines: Really jump on that synth! Do something! And when you’re on the bass, try not to be so obvious about the fact that you’re faking it!

Don’t get me wrong. Emily Haines has worked beautifully with others: Broken Social Scene, MSTRKRFT, and Stars. And I loved her solo work as well. I’m just asking for a return to that inimitable stuff! What are your thoughts?