I have been an AVID/DIEHARD/OBSESSIVE Tegan and Sara fan for almost 10 years now (I mean I even have their lyrics TATTOOED on me...) Holy hell, that's a long time. Anyways, if you look at the evolution of Tegan and Sara, you can watch their music grow and evolve, sounding different from record to record (impressive when you actually look at some of the musicians out there...) I just got my copy of Heartthrob yesterday and let me just tell you, the album is pretty damn good. There is perhaps a song or too that don't quite sit right with me, but in my opinion this is one of their best albums, although I'm sure someone somewhere will be arguing me tooth and nail, saying that they've sold out into a poppy version of themselves. If that's you, then I have three well chosen words for you... turn it off. If you don't like it, don't listen, simple as that! But I, the true fan, applaud them on the ability to move with the flow of the music industry, instead of getting stuck in a vicious cycle of releasing the same album over and over just changing the track titles.
* through ***** I am going to rate this album with stars, on the pure level of how badly these songs will make you turn it up and jump around... so beware.
Alrighty, let's do this. Heartthrob starts out with their first single on the record, 'Closer,' the 80's synth style pop-ish number that makes you want to jump around on your parents' expensive couch. 'Closer' is definitely going to be the song playing in the background of every angsty teen soap that we (do and say we) don't watch. *****
Goodbye, Goodbye the second track on the record solidifies this album as heavily 80's/90's pop influenced and although if we listen and read the lyrics, we see sad, the Quins turn it into a drum machine-y pop song, leaving behind their image of depressed rockstars (The Con). *****
I Was a Fool, the first track of the album that's a little less hoppy up and downy and more, put on repeat whilst laying in bed with a pint of chunky monkey... **
I'm Not Your Hero. Every Tegan and Sara fan will recognize pure and simple the power of the twins... This track doesn't emulate another song, another band, this is Tegan and Sara, regardless of the pop influence of the rest of the record. This is typical Tegan and Sara, picky listeners, rejoice! With heavy guitars and a heavy bassline, this song is sure to please the fans, even before the release of the record. ****
Drove Me Wild. This track is about perspective... stepping back to look at your love from a new angle and learning to let it just fade away while you remember how to have a good time, because in this **** track you will be sure to get a good jump around out of it.
How Come You Don't Want Me. This reminds me of a more energized, girly-pop version of an xx/passion pit lovechild song. Once again showing off their ability to turn a sad song about love and loss into a catchy pop song. ***
I Couldn't Be Your Friend. This is one of my favorite songs on the album, typical electropop synth beat, but the chorus of "oh oh's" in the background has this old school Tegan and Sara feeling that makes me happy. Although I have heard a friend compare this song to that of Katy Perry (um, what?), this song is definitely sure to please some of you knuckleheads. *****
Love They Say. Although it starts out rather boy-band-y, this song is actually growing on me, and yes it's probably got a lot to do with my endless supply of love and appreciation for these girls, buuuuut it does sound like what would have played at my junior prom... sorry gals, but it's true. ***
Now I'm All Messed Up. The album begins to wind down here, with some slower yet bubbly beats.
Shock To Your System. Opening with a heavy dark beat, we really feel for Sara as she tells us how to learn from her pain and stand strong during times you feel your heart is being ripped out of your chest. This song is so bittersweet when you listen to it, "what you are is lonely," being the most recognizable line from the song. Also one of my favorites. ***
Guilty As Charged. This song, although not on the album, immediately brings me to a more indie place than pop, I like it. I think you will too. **
I Ran Empty. Also not on the album. Ah, some guitar and heavy piano! A slow song to round the album, a little reminiscent of the older days, although still could have been written in 1980 in a sweatsuit, not complaining though... *
YES, the word pop has been thrown around this review A LOT and that might scare some of you off, yes they have pretty much traded in their guitars for synths... but let me reiterate what is truly happening here while most of you toss this album on while getting ready to go out to the bars. What prides me so much in being a loyal Tegan and Sara fan is their ability to turn rather emotional dark lyrics about love and loss into a surprisingly upbeat record rather than falling into an "Elliot Smith on a loop" territory, (extra points to whomever gets that reference.) While most of you will probably write this album off as a pop piece of junk, when you actually look at what's happening underneath the heavy beats, you see the bittersweet love, pain, and heartbreak that is present in every Tegan and Sara album, it's still there, it's just evolved into something more adult.
FOR THE REST OF YOU LOVELIES, THE ALBUM COMES OUT JANUARY 29th, SO PLEASE GO PICK IT UP!
Overall, I give this album an A, and I highly recommend that all Tegan and Sara fans, old and new, check it out and give it the chance it deserves! Thanks for sticking around and putting up with my mindless babbling!