Tegan and Sara
Heartthrob


4.5
superb

Review

by Robert Lowe CONTRIBUTOR (87 Reviews)
January 31st, 2013 | 49 replies | 2,202 views


Release Date: 01/29/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Tegan and Sara synth pop their cherry with their remarkable 7th studio album Heartthrob

Tegan and Sara have changed a lot since their humble Canadian beginnings. They started off in high school making acoustic folk type stuff and released three albums that didn't quite catch on with the mainstream, but helped build a decent fanbase. Then in 2004 they released So Jealous and had their music featured on Grey's Anatomy and people started paying attention. Then they build upon this newfound and much larger fanbase by perfecting their indie rock sound with The Con and Sainthood. In 2013, the twin sister duo decided to shake things up a bit and release a straight up synth pop album, risking alienating their rather dedicated fanbase in the process. Fortunately for all involved, strong songwriting and passion can carry through in any genre, and Tegan and Sara's 7th studio album Heartthrob is a splendid and refreshing pop album.

While previous Tegan and Sara sounded like something someone with a rather large portion of alt/indie in their pie chart would enjoy, Heartthrob is straight up pop for the masses. It's easy to say a band has sold out when making a record like this, but the honest lyrics and strong songwriting prove that Tegan and Sara have their hearts placed firmly in the music featured in Heartthrob. Much like this paragraph, a common complaint against the previous effort The Con was that the songs were underdeveloped and didn't go anywhere. This is no longer the case as on Heartthrob the gals' songwriting styles have finally started to blend, resulting in ten well crafted and cohesive songs. Heartthrob is easily the duo's most consistent record and proves that Tegan and Sara know how to make a great record regardless of the genre.

The instrumentation on Heartthrob is definitely a departure from the band's acoustic roots, as Tegan and Sara have traded in their guitars for synths and electronic drum kits. The switch in instrumentation allows for much deeper production with plenty of subtle things going on in the background in tracks like "I'm Not Your Hero" and "Love They Say." There's still some guitar and piano sprinkled in of course, like in "Drove Me Wild" and "Now I'm All Messed Up" that adds some nice variety to the record. Overall, the switch to electronic instruments doesn't effect the flavor of Tegan and Sara's music that much because all of the feel of the vocals is still present. Emphasis on the vocals is stronger than ever on Heartthrob, and Tegan and Sara's passionate voices easily carry the record.

Heartthrob is a very nostalgic record, hearkening back to the innocence of high school romance when all anyone wanted to do was hold hands. Songs like "Drove Me Wild" and "Now I'm All Messed Up" are so innocent and sincere they can't help but hit hard. Heartthrob also has a darker side that's not as common in pop. Songs like "Goodbye, Goodbye" and "How Come You Don't Want Me" contrast the catchy synth pop sound with lyrics about heartbreak and disappointment. Tegan and Sara's ability to master all facets of the emotional spectrum in under 35 minutes is rather impressive. The biggest strength Heartthrob possesses is its ability to sound fresh and modern in the instrumentation, while still maintaining an almost high school vibe with the lyrics and overall mood. Heartthrob may be a departure musically, but Tegan and Sara are still the same band with a consistent discography that we grew to love.



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user ratings (155)
Chart.
3.4
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other reviews of this album
Rudy K. STAFF (3.9)
They're not unfaithful but they'll stray....

Killerhit (3)
Predominately what you'd expect from a duo who abandons rock for synth pop....


Comments:Add a Comment 
Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013



49788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I put a couple funnies in to try to live up to Klap's review

Digging: Empire! Empire! (I Was a Lonely Estate) - You Will Eventually Be Forgotten

ILJ
January 30th 2013



6617 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Good review, agree with most of this.

"is used to good use"

You should rephrase this, it's awkward. Otherwise, no glaring mistakes.

Digging: Mastodon - Once More 'Round the Sun

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013



49788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, I just got rid of it completely


bach
January 30th 2013



11957 Comments


pos'd. Second best T&S.

Digging: Walknut - Graveforests And Their Shadows

demigod!
January 30th 2013



43888 Comments


I bet this sounds like scissors

Digging: Black Flag - My War

bach
January 30th 2013



11957 Comments


It sounds good.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013



49788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

bah bah bah bah
This is the sound of scissoring


SgtPepper
Staff Reviewer
January 30th 2013



4381 Comments


I've never really got into them. POS'd on the review though.

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013



49788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thank you very much
I need to get into Miles Davis

klap
Staff Reviewer
January 30th 2013



10258 Comments

Album Rating: 3.9

canadian should be capitalized, grey's anatomy italicized, The Con in 2nd paragraph italicized. great review all around

Digging: The Bilinda Butchers - Heaven

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013



49788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I refuse to italicize a show like grey's anatomy


toxin.
January 30th 2013



12021 Comments


"bah bah bah bah
This is the sound of scissoring"
pos'd because death cab


oh yeah good review

bloc
January 30th 2013



34679 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Can't hear the 4.5 but whatever

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

tommygun
January 30th 2013



23587 Comments


ALL I DREAM OF LATELY

IS HOW TO GET YOU UNDERNEATH MEEEEE

Digging: Obliteration - Black Death Horizon

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013



49788 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I see you by my house
Walking with a different girl
I see you by my house
Talking with a different girl
SHE'S GOT NOTHING TO SHOW YOU
SHE'S GOT NOTHING TO HOLD YOU DOWN
YOU'RE KILLING ME TO WALK AWAY

cinaedus
January 30th 2013



26298 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

this record is like so jealous gone synthpop. i adore it

Digging: Anberlin - Lowborn

tommygun
January 30th 2013



23587 Comments


my heart throbs hard for this record

Chortles
January 30th 2013



17908 Comments


that's not the only thing

Digging: Yo La Tengo - Electr-O-Pura

bach
January 30th 2013



11957 Comments


Chort knows

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
January 30th 2013



19453 Comments


nice review as always

Digging: The Who - Tommy



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