Many songwriters barely into their 20s come across as downtrodden and world-weary as any denture-chomping octogenarian. Tegan & Sara, on the other hand, manage to write unique and clever pop songs while still acting their age (they'll turn 22 next month). And even though they're Lilith Fair veterans, they avoid nearly all of the festival's trademark clichés.
Tegan & Sara's previous releases leaned toward acoustic folk, though they got their start playing in punk bands. If It Was You splits the difference. It's still mainly acoustic, but louder, and there's a lot of subtle genre-bending. Produced by the New Pornographers' John Collins and Dave Carswell, the album shares the Canadian supergroup's irreverent approach to pop music, with touches of bluegrass ("Living Room"), new wave ("Monday Monday Monday") and '60s rock. Though they're twins, the girls also have distinctly different voices that blend into a strangely electric harmony.