Date: September 4th, 2002
Author: Kim Micallef
Tegan and Sara
If It Was You
21-year-old Canadian twin sisters Tegan & Sara sound like seasoned pros, not a couple of kids who just made drinking age. Their songs are so diverse, driving and intriguing, you wonder why they haven't been gobbled up by the national media and adoring fans. The pair look like a couple of punks, but their immaculate songs recall the Pretenders, Super Furry Animals, the Cranberries, Tracy Chapman, and several generations of Britpop. Smart as a whip, these young ladies obviously have old souls.
It's hard to know who is singing what, but one twin has the same craggy velvet voice as Cerys Matthews of defunct Welsh band Catatonia, giving the songs a playful sexy edge. Their songs zip by and before you know it, the album is over. Opener "Time Running" is like a meeting of the Pretenders and Elastica. "You Went Away" rocks harder, with the humorous anti-relationship lyric "There is more to life than being together." "Monday Monday Monday" takes a page form the Crowded House songbook, while "I Hear Noises" uses the same jangling guitars, pogo beats and melodic pop overdrive as Neil Finn's earlier band Split Enz. T&S take a left turn into Irish jig territory on "Living Room," a two-beat ditty about voyeurism and unclean thoughts. "And Darling" is the album's most cutesy song, what you would expect from a more typical female duo in their 20s. Sweet and cornball, the girls float from falsettos to wry harmonies. "Want To Be Bad" is a mystery crooner of a song, bumping over a simmering beat as T&S express their lust for life.
Not every T&S song is a gem, neither are they profound, but these hardy old souls say more with a couple of guitars than many singers say with their entire lives.