Tegan & Sara
To say Tegan & Sara have dipped their toes in electro-pop with Heartthrob would be a gross understatement, because the Canadian sister-duo have plunging into the world of synthesiser to create their new record. The ten-track release is brimming with the new sound from start to finish, a venture that hits and misses – something for fans who adore their heartbroken beauty and the new high school teen demographic dreaming of dance-floor romance.
The opening tune, Closer, is a sure-fire contender to shoot the Quin twins into the commercial spotlight. The sexually-charged release experiments with a bright electronic mix resulting in a sound quite removed from their back catalogue. The lyrics are meaningless and the Goldfrapp-like elements are fun, but despite the tactical choice as the album’s first release, it is far surpassed by other tracks on the record.
The optimism of lovers is on show here, most notably in Love They Say where we cringe because “There’s nothing love can’t do,” but the real triumphs are found in the lovelorn ditties in the LP’s second half that are more characteristic of the duo. How Come You Don’t Want Me is the most interesting addition; the Quins offering a familiar harmony and a narrative of unrequited love in a dying relationship. In that instance the light electro influence is tactful enough to highlight the lyrics rather than drive the entire song – but it’s a balance they battle with elsewhere. Yes, their experimenting with synth compliments the tragically emotive themes, but it also fuels – and tries to sell – empty songs that lack real storytelling.
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