Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

Tegan and Sara

  • If It Was You [Vapor, 2002] Choice Cuts
  • So Jealous [Vapor, 2004] *
  • The Con [Vapor, 2007] **
  • Sainthood [Vapor/Sire, 2009] A-
  • Heartthrob [Warner Bros., 2013] *
  • Love You to Death [Warner Bros., 2016] A-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

If It Was You [Vapor, 2002]
"Time Running" Choice Cuts

So Jealous [Vapor, 2004]
Believe your old dad--"What I figured out was I needed more time to figure you out" ain't gonna work ("Take Me Anywhere," "You Wouldn't Like Me"). *

The Con [Vapor, 2007]
Negotiating different power relations than heterosexual women, they have trouble getting out of themselves ("Back in Your Head," "Hop a Plane"). **

Sainthood [Vapor/Sire, 2009]
I prefer Sara, assuming that's her. You know, that one--the jaggedy one, voice slightly narrower, "Arrow" and "On Directing" rather than "Don't Rush" and, er, "Night Watch" I think, even though Sara's the one with the biographical "grounds for divorce," and even though that's my fave thing here. So put it this way. These twin neatniks are wound tight and make something of it. Those who believe loose is the only real may find them prissy or worse. I think their half-enigmatic little songs humanize the neat. They sing of love in perpetual suspension, only partly camouflaged by the emoluments of harmonic closure. A-

Heartthrob [Warner Bros., 2013]
Not exactly the first pop stars to be better at sex than love ("Closer," "Drove Me Wild") *

Love You to Death [Warner Bros., 2016]
It's kind of a hoot for twin sisters to begin Indigo Girls, wind up Maroon 5, and just get gayer as they do. In the synth-cushioned highlight "Boyfriend," Sara wheedles/implores her bi-or-not gf to make up her mind with a hook that goes "I don't want to be your secret anymore." Other winners include the contrite "That Girl," the erotic "Stop Desire," and the anti-marriage "BWU." But thematically, these women are adaptable. Every track is a three-minute formalist construct that captures a mood rather than a three-minute romanticist statement that expresses an emotion. Some of these moods are more complex than others. But every one is catchy. A-

See Also