Smart, highbrow pop makes this album work from start to finish.
Better for the Metaphor was rated by NPR as one of the more notable albums to come out in 2008. The album is a roots-y, yet lush, series of songs that resemble XTC circa Apple Venus Vol. 1. Everything is built around the melody, with delayed, layered harmonies. This is the case on “My House” which comes to the fore brilliantly. From there lead singer/mastermind Christopher Hicken opts for a groovy, dark “Go Getter” that gets going from the get go. From the onset, everything is fair game, so Cantinero moves effortlessly from airy pop to almost ambling stage musical fodder on “Goodbye Life”. Although “Selfish” takes a bit longer to get into, Cantinero manages to steer the song in a strong direction, albeit one which singer-songwriters have done to death for decades. Fans of The Fray would also probably lap up “Lights Went Out”. And if that’s not enough, Hicken seals the deal with the Crowded House-ish “Thinner”.