Tegan and Sara – Love You To Death Review

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They may be known as the most recognisable identical twins in music or even for their great work with LGBT activism, but despite this, Tegan and Sara have always let the music do their talking. With their eight studio album Love You To Death, they look to do the same. They’re quite simply massive in their hometown of Calgary and across Canada, the US and Australia. This success hasn’t been as easy to come by in the UK and the rest of Europe, but with a reinforced Pop direction, they’ll be looking to replicate their success across the oceans.

The lead single from the album is ‘Boyfriend’ and it is one giant Pop punch in the face to give you a visual aid. With anyone else this would sound hopeless and random, but they draw out and tease the song along in places in order to maximise the popping rhythms and melodies. From these bolstered hooks come their highly infectious harmonies which function in perfect unity with  the instrumentation around them. It is without doubt one with the best Pop songs of the year and with it comes emotional lyrical content. ‘U-Turn’ features buoyant synths and skipping riffs that are underpinned by a steady dropping beat. Again their unified vocals are perfectly matched for the sounds around them and again they refine these sounds in parts in order to draw out a stronger chorus. This leaves a outrageously catchy track for everyone to sing along to.

With ‘100x’ they look to embrace the Pop-tinged swooning ballad and spacious piano chords are certainly the order of the day here. The power vocals are the only thing tinged with a hint of production influence with a slight skip and whilst nothing spectacular, it demonstrates their vocal skill and is a sign of their own versatility. ‘Stop Desire’ is filled with rumbling bass lines and spacious elecronica with close vocals. ‘That Girl’ is a typical piano-Pop track in the verses, but with a chorus that flourishes into light and power. ‘Faint of Heart’ is a cheesy ballad with their vocal rounds working brilliantly to hammer home the infectious nature of the track. The album falls down on a few tracks due to more simple lyrics and stale sounds such as the the final track on the album. These things prevent it being a perfect Pop album. It full of energy and is cleverly manipulated and moulded to accentuate every layer of the songs. For the most part, the lyrics offer up a striking vulnerability that add yet another dimension to their pepped up Pop. Beyond that it is just a fun album and won’t get old quickly.

Tegan and Sara – Love You To Death = 8/10

 

Owen Riddle

Single Review – Tegan and Sara – Shudder To Think

Tegan and Sara are only in their early thirties and it already seems that they’ve gained a legendary sort of cult status as the ultimate indie duo. Not only in their native Canada but around the world. They’ve dabbled in straight up Indie Rock, Folk music and synth-pop too and they’ve experienced they’ve already racked up since their first album in 1999 is pretty amazing. This year they’ve released their seventh album Heartthrob which they described as their most commercial album and this was reflected in chart performances across the globe. A B-Side from one of the singles from Heartthrob is now being used for the film The Dallas Buyers Club.  ‘Shudder To Think’ opens with deep churning of the rhythm chords from the synths are played off by the higher pitched melodic chord progression on top of it. When you put the piano, the rock percussion and their vocals on top of it then its an 80’s track from the perspective of a 21st century ‘indie’ duo. Much like The Killers with ‘Shot At The Night’. Though its pure pop indulgence, it certainly hasn’t been neglected and cast off in the sense that its been tastefully done and you’d sort of expect from them. Its just a nice track!

http://youtu.be/zhLMWAA_oAs

Image from www.thestar.com