Album Review Tegan & Sara - Sainthood

It’s depressing to compare ‘Sainthood’s phoned-in feel to the raw and honest lyrics of something like ‘My Number’ from their debut.

Tegan and Sara

are a surprising phenomenon; often associated with the likes of Imogen Heap and Cat Power, they lead their group of electronic folk-rock outfits. However it is unfortunate that despite being the most popular, Tegan and Sara seem to lack the human element that makes their contemporaries music so listenable. New album ‘Sainthood’ seems more robotic than Tegan and Sara’s past efforts, with little atmosphere or emotion.

It does, though, have it’s occasional captivating, catchy moments, such as early album highlight ‘Hell’, an upbeat rock song straight from the days of 2004’s ‘So Jealous’ with inventive lyrics and a heart-pounding tempo, it sets the bar far too high. Later on, mid-album great ‘Northshore’, a cutting and exciting anthem, attempts to match those heights, and almost manages it, but while it should set a style for the rest of the album it is instead left rather sticking out. There are interesting songs amongst the pile though, such as the charmingly beautiful vocals of ‘Paperback Head’ that shine amongst the electronic dirge backing the music.

These, of course, are the few things that stick out on an otherwise wholly average album. This is largely due to the fact that there’s nothing there to hold the listeners interest. Songs float by one after the other without ever making an impact, chiefly songs such as ‘Don’t Rush’, an altogether by-the-numbers electronic affair that is terrifically dull to listen to. The main problem is that for the most part there’s not much to sing to yourself once the record has finished, as much of it blends into the background, and it’s an easy album to forget that you’re listening to.

Compared to the sweet and defiant electro-rock anthems from their earlier records these songs sound even more mechanical, the basic timings and repetitive rhythms create a very dry effect, unlike the colourful songs of Tegan and Sara’s early years. It’s depressing to compare ‘Sainthood’s phoned-in feel to the raw and honest lyrics of something like ‘My Number’ from their debut, or even ‘Soil, Soil’ from ‘The Con’.

Overall, this album sounds painfully average, with it’s soulless, unemotional feel setting a dull tone that stays through the entirety of the record. One day Tegan and Sara might return to their roots and what made them popular in the first place, catchy songs and clever lyrics, but for now they seem to be settling with neither.

 

Records & Merch

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