Thursday, November 5, 2009

Tegan and Sara - Sainthood (Review)

Tegan and Sara
Warner Music


The new album Sainthood from Canadian twin duo Tegan and Sara is an excellent collection of synthesizer-driven songs predominantly about troubled love.

The album is a natural progression from their previous album, The Con, in that the apparent mood is different but the style and music is essentially very similar.

Many of the songs seem to have a more positive and upbeat sound than the sad melodies found in many songs on The Con.

The first single, “Hell,” has a more radio-friendly pop sound compared to their previous singles.

However, the songs don’t stray from what fans have come to expect from Tegan and Sara – expressions of melancholy love affairs, supported by guitars and synthesizers, and fronted by their unique vocals.

The vocal style is what sets this band apart from the abundance of popular indie-sounding bands. Tegan and Sara sound similar, as one would expect from identical twins, but there is enough difference to distinguish between them.

One voice complements the other, and their vocal harmonies are just as striking as in their previous albums, though not as prevalent.

On first listen, the most memorable song is the opener, “Arrow.” The synthesizer-based song has a distinctive edgy sound, and demonstrates how effectively the band uses their vocal harmonies.

On their blog, Tegan explained the first single was inspired by a headline in the Vancouver Sun, which described her then-new neighbourhood in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside as “four blocks of hell.”

The lyrics, like most of their other songs, are about a troubled romance, in this case, unrequited love.

While the album is a solid offering to hardcore fans and newcomers alike, it doesn’t leave as strong an impression as The Con did.


Originally published in the Charlatan, Carleton University's independent student newspaper