On February 8th, 2013 one of the most anticipated albums of the year was released. Tegan and Sara, an indie-rock pop powerhouse duo from Canada, have recently released their seventh studio full-length album "Heartthrob". I want to give you a little insight to this album. Many long time fans will notice a change from most of their previous albums, but not so far gone that it is unrecognizable. This album features new and experimental sounds for the group, the soundscapes and vocals are in a different realm from previous ventures.
The opening track, “Closer”, is also the first single from the album. The track is a very up beat semi-dancey song. When listening to the track the meaning is clear, and it is easy to see why the video for this song is an 80’s throw back feel of a small high school party. Lyrically I feel like this song is a great choice for an opening track and a great single, it is a very real and relatable song for fans of all ages and no matter how long you’ve been a fan you are sure to get hooked on this song.
“Goodbye, Goodbye” is the 2nd track on the album. It feels like a song about someone who is fed up with being overlooked, or under-appreciated. Though when Sara talks about the song she says that the “They” mentioned in the song are just people she imagines in her mind, but I feel like it could easily be transferred to a close group of friends. The lyrics beg the question “Why couldn’t you see me like they do” and later in the song “You let me try, knowing there was nothing I could do to change you.” We have all been involved in a relationship of some sort where we were trying to prove ourselves to someone who would not change their views on us. This song is an anthem of that to an extent.
The next song I want to highlight is “How Come You Don’t Want Me”. It is an incredibly powerful break up song; the lyrics are almost a desperate plea to the other person. The song could easily find itself on the soundtrack to a movie. Musically the song is fairly simple, but not so much so that it is boring to listen to. When listening to the song you can close your eyes and have a perfect visual painted for you by the words in the song, your mind will show you images of a couple standing on a street corner and picture one of the people in the relationship dramatically stomping, screaming, and crying to the other.
“Now I’m All Messed Up” is a song that every single person has basically lived. In the time after a break up we have all stressed ourselves to the point of almost literally being physically ill. It’s a song about when you know that the relationship is truly over but you haven’t fully come to terms with it. It is a song that exhibits a true raw emotion of being upset and heartbroken about the situation and getting to the point where you scream to the other person “Go if you want, I can’t stop you” but really in your heart you want them to stay.
I cannot say enough positive things about this album, and I have read other reviews that feature some really positive comments and some that feel that this album was a forced album and one of the weakest albums the band has done. I have been a fan of Tegan and Sara for a number of years, I own every album they have released, and I can say that as a fan I do not feel as though this album is weak in any aspect. As a professional in the music industry I have to say that even while experimenting with new sound and vocal approaches the band have molded this in to their own fairly easily. One review that I saw said something along the lines of “The band has forgotten who they are, this album has nothing in common with So Jealous or The Con”. To which I say I agree this album is vastly different than those albums, but with that said it has also been 7-9 years since those albums and it is ludicrous to think that they would have the same sound. People grow, bands evolve, and times change. If you are a fan of any of Tegan and Sara’s previous works I would say that the odds are you will still love this album. The songwriting ability of these two is outstanding.