Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Tegan & Sara: Sainthood (Album Review)

Tegan & Sara - Sainthood

So I remember listening to Tegan & Sara's last album "The Con" one cold October morning in 2007 and thinking "this song is kind of catchy... and this one kind of isn't." When I went back to the album over a year and a half later I was very surprised just how ignorant I had been (especially after I discovered their back catalog, I'm talking stuff like "This Business Is Art" ). Though back then I could really care less, 1-2 songs caught me and nothing else. However a few months back I saw Tegan & Sara's new album Sainthood just glistening among a total crapheap on Amazon and so I excitedly thought to myself, "Why not?" I mean, just look at that album cover. It just stands out.

I won't go super in-depth here as to the "concept" of the album, but I do recall Tegan & Sara saying something about the ins and outs of relationships, and more than anything, longing (the album is about love and longing - that's our safest bet). Oddly enough considering the "themes" involved you would assume you would get emo-centric hackneyed garbage but nope. The writing here is simply scrumptious and nothing short of sublime. I was immediately struck by the first song "Arrow" and how the chorus imbedded a feeling of utter melancholy - it just repeats that lovely chorus again and again - but never to annoying effect - and so I am sure many will want to relisten to it until it starts to sound bad (though it hasn't for me and I must have heard this song at least 200+ times this month alone).

There are many songs worth quirking an an inquisitive eyebrow over, most notably "Hell" with its pronged and pretty guitar opening/counter riffs throughout. From "The Cure" (which ironically sounds like The Cure), to the turbo-rock-charged "Northshore" (the real "rock song" of the album), to Sara's songs like "On Directing Me"... it's all so very perfect and heartbreaking - no trite cloying emotions here. I'm not sure what exactly I'd cut off the album, I do love "Alligator" and "Don't Rush"... everything just absorbs you and grows on you after awhile, like say, Tetsuo's mechanical mutant looking arm in the movie Akira (lol). To think at the same time they wrote/recorded this album they wrote a book? They're saints alright.

In summation: Tegan & Sara: Sainthood is without a doubt the most gelid yet heartwarming deep and meaningful pop/alternative album of the year. It's fresh, it's "hook-y" (as Tegan & Sara would put it) and it's just flat-out fucking fantastic. Please do me - and you - a favor and drop some small "coin" on this album - from behind-the-scenes videos to web episodes like "Reflections," it's pretty obvious these lovely ladies care/mean business - and therefore deserve yours.

Final verdict: 5 fucking stars

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