20 Watts

20 Watts Reviews Tegan and Sara’s Sainthood by Jeanette Wall
October 27, 2009, 4:16 am
Filed under: Releases of the Week | Tags: , , , ,


Tegan and Sara have released their sixth studio album, Sainthood

PREVIEW: DOWNLOAD Tegan and Sara’s “Red Belt” MP3
WE GIVE IT: 16/20 Watts

The Quinn twins have shed another layer of skin in their most recent release, Sainthood. Less juvenile, and more big-picture, Tegan and Sara sing of the gradual acceptance of a hard break-up. But instead of being “a little scared” and just wanting “back in your head,” as professed  2007’s  The Con, they are now “hard-hearted” and “ready for a fight,” as stated on one of this album’s best, “Sentimental Tune.”

A progression from their last three albums is so apparent, an age can easily be assigned to each effort. So Jealous acts like an angst-ridden high school student, The Con being a more mature and more confused young adult. Now, Sainthood comes to audiences with a fully-grown sound. Hell, the sisters are at the cusp of turning 30. As musicians, they are certainly starting to act like it.

The lyrics are sharp on Sainthood, a characteristic for which the sisters are famous. In “On Directing,” struggles of mature relationships are expressed in such an honest way. The refrain of the song goes, “I know it turns you off when I get talking like a teen.” “All I said to you, all I did for you seems so silly to me now,” from “The Cure,” suggest that age has brought on revelation about the nature of their romantic endeavors. Lines are sincere and reflective throughout the album.

Even though their sound is more mature and their lyrics, naturally clever, the songs themselves may be less catchy. Fans will enjoy listening to the album, and it may even attract some new listeners. However, Sainthood doesn’t seem to have quite the draw that The Con did, and continues to, today. Outside of one or two tracks, like “Red Belt,” the songs have an unpredictable structure, almost off-putting. The sound is rougher. The band’s most recognizable tracks may still continue to be those from their older records.

Though this doesn’t mean that listeners won’t be impressed with Tegan and Sara’s sixth studio release. Rather, the album shows the path the sisters are on, and one cannot help but be excited to see where age takes them.

— Jeanette Wall

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