Released 29th January, 2013
Canadian indie pop duo Tegan and Sara’s latest album, Heartthrob, is quite the departure from previous albums. More electro pop than indie rock, they seem to have distanced themselves substantially from their roots. However, as catchily flowing as Heartthrob is, the almost total loss of the sound that defined the duo throughout their many past albums is a shame, as it seems they’ve shifted into one of the all-too-many radio-ready and pop-friendly groups of the 2010s.
There’s a sense of bitterness and longing radiating through the upbeat electronic beats of Heartthrob (see tracks such as ‘I Was A Fool’ and ‘How Come You Don’t Want Me’). One thing Tegan and Sara have not lost is their honest, relateable lyrics, which are best articulated on tracks like ‘Now I’m All Messed Up’, with lines such as “Now I’m all messed up / wondering where you’re leaving your makeup” or ‘Goodbye Goodbye’ (“I can’t live with / all these things I would say”) that any angst-ridden teen or twenty-something could easily play on repeat. Still, there seems to be some confusion between what could be dance floor anthems if not for the fact that their content encases such a negative sentiment.
Another flaw in the album seems to be this one track mind of the lyrics. Heartthrob doesn’t seem to adhere to any sort of storyline progression, ending on the track ‘Shock to Your System’ in which the last line reads “What you are is lonely” – essentially summing up the entire album, and the song itself isn’t that exciting rhythmically either. As cliché as it sounds, all the songs sound the same, and while I’m all for progression and development in bands, it’s a shame that a band that’s been around as long and accumulated so much critical claim as Tegan and Sara has come to this.