The first album by Canadian twin songwriters Tegan and Sara, "Under Feet Like Ours," started with a rough recording from when the sisters were three, and being kinda bratty.
"This Business of Art," their new release on Neil Young's Vapor Records, starts with a strong new song, "The First." Much more powerful than the singsong voice of a child, the sisters belt out their intentions to "walk the fine line, and celebrate life celebrate death." This new record contains many of the same songs as "Under Feet Like Ours," but this album is by no means a re-release. Songs have been re-recorded and revamped, resulting in a pleasant album that is seemingly familiar yet still new. The overall impression is by no means that of an unpolished album from two teenage sisters, but of seasoned professional musicians.
While recorded within a two week span, "This Business of Art" is a much tighter production than "Under Feet Like Ours." The powerful voices of the sisters have always been impressive, but the first album contained a few waverings and an incomplete sense of control. "This Business of Art" has a more controlled, yet no less awe-inspiring, feel to it.
Faithful to those folky-rock rules, the sisters pen insightful and thought-provoking songs of "Freedom" and "Hype," but still manage to energize the album with optimism and hope. An example of the musical evolution of these sisters is with the song "Superstar." The highlight on both this album and "Under Feet Like Ours," the first version was overwhelming with its layered percussion and hyped up production. This version has been stripped-down, showcasing the power of the sister's vocals, similar to their live show.
Tegan and Sara's vocal styles are complimentary, and the two play off each other on the album the same way they work the stage in concert.
"This Business of Art" has the potential to act as a breakthrough album for these musical sisters, talented beyond their years.