Tegan and Sara break new ground with 'Heartthrob'

By Danielle Austin,
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The Canadian twin duo have left their folk-rock roots behind and entered into the world of electronic pop music for their seventh studio album Heartthrob. And, boy, is it refreshing.

Sure, they’ve experimented with the occasional techno beat in a few of their songs, but this album is takes it to a new level.

They’ve managed to create a mainstream pop album infused with catchy dance beats without sacrificing their signature heart-wrenching lyricism, proving their music is anything but “oh so typical.”

“Closer,” the first single released from the 10-track album, is the most upbeat party song on the album with its infectious synth-driven beat and matching energetic lyrics: “It’s not just all physical. I’m the type who won’t get oh so critical. So let’s make things physical.” It’s a perfect depiction of a high school-esque romance where the chase is just as enthralling as the actual relationship.

Tegan and Sara have always had knack for capturing the raw emotions that come with relationships — good and bad. This album may not have any of their usual slow acoustic songs, but to be honest, they don’t need them. They’ve found a different way to pull at our heartstrings, and “How Come You Don’t Want Me” is a perfect example.

The song starts out with soft synths and then builds up to an empowering ballad with Sara pleading, “How come you don’t want me now? Why don’t you just wait this out? How come you always lead me on, never take my call, hear me out?” The song would fit flawlessly in the climax of any ‘80s romantic comedy, but is still accessible enough to be relevant in any decade.

After this song the album slows down to a more melodic trance with songs such as “Love They Say” and “Now I’m All Messed Up.”

But the tempo picks up tenfold on the last track of the album, “Shock to Your System.” Its interesting arrangement alone makes it a standout on the album and the lyrics just make it that much better: “I know that shock to your system/ Knocked your heart right out of sync.” Think the soundtrack of Drive with a Tegan and Sara twist. You’ll be dancing and crying at the same time and loving every minute of it.

Even if you aren’t a big fan of pop music, Tegan and Sara’s authenticity on Heartthrob is definitely something worth listening to.



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