Vinyl Vlog 010

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

I can’t really say what it is that I found so catchy about Tegan and Sara when I first heard them. It must be that their songs, in essence, are pop (punk) songs about girls. Chalk that up to my affinity for Lookout!/Fat Wreck albums released in the Nineties (hey, their songs are often only two minutes long too). The problem, however, with most Tegan and Sara albums is that they are so infused with cuteness that they can turn embarrassing really quickly. The Con was a fantastic album in spite of suffering from all the aforementioned production problems, but just try listening to the hopelessly cute keyboards on Back in Your Head without blushing a bit. Then came Sainthood, and no one remembers. With good reason too, because it’s hard to pinpoint any highlights on that release.

So, with the inevitable staleness setting in, the girls decided to turn up the notches and record a dance album. Immediately I cringed because, like it or not, dance music or ‘noise rock’ is the fad leaned toward by bands who can’t write good music on instruments which don’t need amplification. Of course, with layers and layers of noise and a pumping k-hole groove, dance/noise rock relies on its toe-tapping potential to catch your attention.

That’s all fine and dandy, but I like to think of dance music as dating the hot girl (or guy). Sure, it’s nice to be in a physical relationship with a really good looking person once in a while, but eventually you’re going to have to have a conversation with them. And if you've based your relationship on the physical aspect, there’s no way you’re going to find intellectual growth. This is dance music in a nut shell, folks. Take it or leave it, and I usually like my music to have a little more substance than that.

My established dislike of most musics under the 'dance' umbrella endures but, surprise surprise, Heartthrob works! With most of the cuteness stripped off and the knobs turned up, the production on this record basically reinvigorates Tegan and Sara’s songs to the point where one wonders why they hadn’t done this before. With the standard Tegan and Sara melodies and harmonies there, along with the subjects of heartbreak and heartaches, this is a dance album that’s more than just a dance album. This may be as “punk” as these girls are going to get, but the results play well and it's hard not to exclaim, “Good for them!” in listening.

The vinyl release comes in standard black wax, with a full-color cover and insert and a bonus CD (with the full length album on it), and the package is quite nice to look at.

Heartthrob is an album you can both appreciate for the way it looks and for what it has to say. Another great release for 2013.


Further Reading:
Ground Control Magazine
Tegan and Sara – Heartthrob[Album]


The 12'' vinyl edition of Heartthrob is out now. Buy it here on Amazon .

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