When you hear the name Tegan and Sara you probably conjure up adjectives like folky, moody, and / or lesbian. But like indie queen Liz Phair before them, being indie darlings does not do a very good job at paying the bills. Despite six well received albums, the sisters never managed to have a hit songs on the charts here stateside and were not even able to get one until their last album in their Canadian homeland. They look to change that with the release of the decisively more poppy seventh album Heartthrob.
Much like when I first heard Phair’s no longer being exiled in guyville pop turn with Why Can’t I, my first thought when I heard Closer, the first single off of Heartthrob, was, this is catchy, but I feel a little dirty considering the source. But where Phair when full mainstream on those album with songs of the chick rock pop of the early 00’s, Tegan and Sara travel back to the syth-pop mainstream of the 80’s (and carried on today by bands like Metric).
To get this sound they brought in producer Greg Kurstin of The Bird and the Bee who gave a similar sound to It's Not Me, It's You - Lily Allen’s sophomore album. The problem though is the album sounds too homogeneous and even at just over a half an hour it starts to drag on eventually with the lack of diversity. Heartthrob manages to draw the line very well where they are poised to pick up more pop minded fans without alienating their core fan base, but I’ll probably continue to walk with the ghost instead.
Song to Download – Closer
Heartthrob gets a on my Terror Alert Scale.