Review Summary: Another fine album from Tegan And Sara... although several songs should have been altered for length.
The fifth album from the Canadian twin sisters is quite an intriguing listen. The first track, "I Was Married" is a nice, mellow opener, with lyrics apparently dealing with gay marriage. Unfortunately, the song simply builds up to a stop two minutes too early... almost as if Sara, the songwriter of this track, could not. find more lyrics/ideas to finish the song. It's not a sign when the first track of an album feels like a filler track.
The next two tracks, however, definitely feel full and complete, and make "I Was Married" a necessary intro.. "Relief Next To Me" is a lovely track, also by Sara, which they sing about not waiting for a love, and not wasting one when it comes. Next is the synthesizer-charged title track, and it truly is one main highlight of the album. Penned by Tegan, it is a heartfelt song about a loss of love and how much pain it can cause.
Other tracks of interest include "Are You Ten Years Ago," which sounds like a song you would hear at a club... or a rap artist could rap over. "Burn Your Life Down," which is based on a conversation with Sara and her grandfather about the loss of his wife (Tegan and Sara's grandmother) and how hard it is to drive alone in the car, is sympathetic in matter and definitely captures the feeling of sudden loneliness.
"Nineteen" and "Floorplan" are two songs that are probably among the most complex sounding tracks they have done. Both tracks have many layers of guitars and keyboards thriving around them. "Nineteen" is about being in love when at nineteen. I hope this feeling happens to me. Then, "Floorplan" is about wanting someone to want you... but cannot put those feelings into words.
However, two main problems plague this The Con
. This album features the most tracks that are less than two minutes by them (total of three), and almost half the album hovers around that time length. Also, despite that this is Tegan and Sara's first major-label album, and they had some help from artists like Kaki King, Death Cab for Cutie, and AFI, this album has the air of being made more quickly than usual.
However, despite those two main issues, thankfully the song quality has not been taken aback. Sonically, it's probably their best album yet. Most, if not all, of the tracks have a little quirk here or there, like the synthesizer-charged title track or the piano-based "Soil, Soil", and certainly the anticipation building the closer track "Call It Off". Also, while this album has no "Walking With The Ghost" or "Monday, Monday, Monday", The Con
collectively it is nearly as strong as So Jealous
or If It Was You
. Also, this album probably has the most heavy guitar sounding tracks since This Business of Art
, as "Nineteen," "Hop A Plane," and the aforementioned title track prove.
The bottom line of The Con
is simple: A good album, but not as great as their last two albums are.
TheSaneLunatic's Top Five Recommendations:
1. The Con
4. Call It Off
5. Burn Your Life Down