Heartthrob by Tegan and Sara

 

Indie music loves duos. Or, duos love indie music? Whichever statement holds true, we’re at gain. 2012 saw some extraordinary albums churned out by duos (Beach House, Niki & The Dove amongst many) and indie sweethearts Tegan and Sara are the ones to wave the checkered flag this year. They’ve hinted towards switching to mainland EDM since a long time, with past collaborations with artists like Tiesto and Morgan Page. The singles caught many listeners by surprise and the album does the same. Unfortunately, the surprise was nowhere close to being pleasant.

 

This *could* have worked.

 

Yes, could have. A little electro splash over the usual indie canvas has never done any harm, has it? However, the production here topples the band off the route to become a crossover hit into marshlands, making Heartthrob too generic for its own good.

 

TRACKLIST:
#1. Closer 3:33
#2. Goodbye, Goodbye 2:51
#3. I Was a Fool 2:43
#4. I’m Not Your Hero 4:01
#5. Drove Me Wild 4:27
#6. How Come You Don’t Want Me 3:13
#7. I Couldn’t Be Your Friend 3:03
#8. Love They Say 3:29
#9. Now I’m All Messed Up 4:13
#10. Shock To Your System 5:03

 

PERSONNEL:
Tegan Quin: Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards
Sara Quin: Vocals, Guitars, Keyboards, Programming

 

PRODUCER:
Greg Kurstin

Mike Elizondo

Justin Meldal-Johnsen

Rob Cavallo

 

DATE OF RELEASE:
29th January, 2013

 

SINGLES:
Closer

I’m Not Your Hero

 

After three listens, call me incapable if you may, but I must admit that I’ve failed to decipher the idea behind making this record. Going away from all the could’ves, would’ves and should’ves and taking this album as a singular entity without any links to Tegan and Sara’s back-discography, I must come straight and say the word a reviewer usually refrains from using in a review – Horrendous.

 

Straight-of-the-bat, it’s horrible. The opener Closer has everything it takes to become the soundtrack of a 13-year old girl who knows nothing about pop music. The lyrics and the vocal delivery had me squinting through the song and my eyelids rested only after the album was over. By no means do the sisters sound bad – their voices sound like a dream as always, but whatever redeeming quality they hold is being washed away by a sludge of intolerable, generic lyrics and overtly-predictable melodies.

 

Whenever an album fails to grab me, I try a different perspective. There has to be a way, the right kind of climate, the appropriate chain of thoughts, the perfect scenario to enjoy this. Remember that godawful band Brokencyde? Those dudes are still at it, so there’s someone out there who enjoys their music. It saddens me to see the mere mention of Brokencyde in a Tegan and Sara review, because I used to be a fan. However, I’m sure I’m not listening wrong when I try to find some soul in songs like Drove Me Wild and Love They Say and find nothing at all.

 

The whole process behind listening to Heartthrob repeatedly was like peeling a lettuce in hopes of finding a core, knowing that it doesn’t exist. There’s nothing here for indie lovers, there’s nothing here for pop aficionados. Half-way down the album (almost to pat my back and prove my stand), How Come You Don’t Want Me throws away any chances of a comeback for Heartthrob. After the closer, the album watches the listeners run away and falls on its knees on the porch steps, crying along to that same song. Cringe-worthy.

 

 

 

 

Responses (7)

  1. I like some of the tracks..I've been a fan for a while..I feel bad that I'm not in love with it and really hope it grows on me. I will buy it tonight and give it another listen. Love them always though.

  2. Emily Faulkner says:

    I've been a fan since their very first album. I feel like this has been a really organic and welcome change in style. I think it's one of their best albums yet. Having just attended their show I can honestly say they didn't disappoint.

  3. hey im 30years old and must admit had never heard Teagan and sara before , my partner dragged me to few concerts on ther tour 2013 in aus … Literally dragged me out . day of the first concert we went to -in melbz i remember that we had pretty big one the night before . i hoped i can get out of going ..fortunately i wanted make my partner happy . Melbourne weather. Grumpy as, no sleep, first thing they make every one stand up ..i was like Farkkkk, end up siting having all asses dancing right in my face .. f@ck the tegan and sara crack me ! the shit they talk – pure excitement 🙂 after second concert in Adelaide i was hooked on their music. love the lyrics.. i felt sorry for all fans on meet and greets… in excitement all of them forgot of having tongue in mouth probz want to say so much and and up saying aaa/sss/ammmm aaa…mm -probs i different then long term fans i ike the last album the most.

  4. Christine Romea says:

    I never really cared much for Heartthrob really, It took one great live show to change my mind though. Yes, I probably am a little biased because I loved their sound prior to the album, but I guess you could gradually see them progress to electro from The Con to Sainthood, didn't think it would have a poppy edge to it. But yes, It took some time to sink in, the album isn't so bad, it'll probably get the general public to like them even more imo.

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