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Tegan & Sara: The Con (Vapor/Sanctuary)

CD Review

By Brian Baker · July 25th, 2007 · Short Takes
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Tegan & Sara



When Tegan and Sara Quin began their musical career as a duo well over a decade ago with a trio of demos and then followed up with their debut 1999 full-length and 2000 sophomore effort -- Under Feet Like Ours and This Business of Art -- the Canadian twin sisters wore the uniform of youth and bellowed their fist-pumping rage in typically strident guerilla Folk fashion.

The pair signed with Elliot Roberts, toured with Neil Young and Rufus Wainwright and raised their profile exponentially, and so it might have continued if not for the creative intervention of the New Pornographers' John Collins and the Smugglers' David Carswell, who helped the sisters find their inner Pop child with their insightful production of 2002's If It Was You and 2004's even more Pop studded So Jealous, their true breakthrough album. For their fifth album, The Con, Tegan and Sara shift from Vancouver's Pop mafia to Death Cab for Cutie's Chris Walla and manage to channel early Folk anthemics into their latter-day Pop/New Wave passion with irresistible results. With a '70s sensibility and a contemporary spark, Tegan and Sara blend their genres of choice like sonic chemists, putting into the beaker varying degrees of Radiohead's electronic verve ("Are You Ten Years Ago?"), Jane Siberry's ephemeral Folk/Pop ("Soil, Soil") and a healthy shake of Breeders'/Throwing Muses' adrenalized Indie Rock (the propulsive title track). There seemed to have been very little potential left unexplored on So Jealous, and yet somehow Tegan and Sara have twisted their influences into fascinating new configurations on The Con. (Brian Baker) Grade: B+ TEGAN AND SARA -- THE CON

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
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