Reviews from Barnes & Noble Online
Barnes & Noble
Next to the teen-aged rants of chart-toppers such as Avril Lavigne and Michelle Branch, the spirited pop-rock tunes of twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin boast an unexpected maturity. The Canadian duo debuted in 2000 with their punky-folk This Business of Art, which earned them a spot -- at the age of 19 -- on the Lilith Fair tour and opening slots for Neil Young and the Pretenders. But rather than repeat the Indigo Girls-meets-Ani DiFranco success of Art, Tegan and Sara -- now of legal drinking age -- plug in their guitars for the buzzing If It Was You, while honing their chirpy harmonies and sharp hooks. The results bear more in common with Liz Phair, Juliana Hatfield, or early Sinéad O'Connor, as the twins' sweet vocals easily morph into commanding snarls. The time-honored subjects of love and relationships carry the gals through a dozen smart songs, such as "City Girl," on which they sing, over a bouncy beat, "You pack your bags/ You say, I love you but I cannot stay/ So I started smoking/ Thought the signals would scare your worries away." Several tunes mingle strummed acoustic and fuzzy electric guitars to energetic effect, as on the chiming "Under Water," one of a handful of songs that indulge new wave-era production flourishes -- think synth beds and jangly guitars -- courtesy of knob-twiddlers John Collins and Dave Carswell, who did such a splendid job on the New Pornographers' album, Mass Romantic. Armed with something to say, a way with words and harmonies, and boatloads of personality, Tegan and Sara deliver on the promise of their youth.
All Music Guide
Tegan & Sara's If It Was You can quickly be summed up by using a few terms from music land that everyone should be familiar with: Lilith Fair, Alanis Morissette, power pop, and hooks. Combine all the ideas and you have Tegan & Sara. There are acoustic moments on If It Was You; there are also full-on pop/ rock moments. The singing is the primary focus of the album, with both sisters carrying the weight of the vocal work. Going back to their punk roots seems to have helped, as many of the songs seem more raw than what one might expect from a formerly acoustic duo. It seems that success is almost guaranteed for an act such as this, seeing as they've played with Bryan Adams, Neil Young, and Rufus Wainwright, and also appeared on The Late Show With David Letterman. Not a bad offering that is sure to catch on -- as long as it can get noticed in that large bin of music labeled "lots of talent and commercial potential...we just need the right people to hear us."