Excalibur Newspaper
York University
Album Reviews
Tegan and Sarah--If It Was You
Sarah Pinder

With 'If It Was You', Tegan and Sarah have made an album of love and loss with punk sensibilities peeking up from behind their acoustic guitars. This is a record that's intimate--voices not quite polished, simple strumming--and you feel like you've been hanging out in the duo's basement and just chanced upon them picking up their instruments.

Tegan and Sarah's sophomore release for Universal--following the success of 'This Business of Art and a few years opening for the likes of Neil Young, Rufus Wainwright and the Pretenders--the album is difficult to categorize.

The main focus is their pair of acoustic six-strings, though electric guitars, bass and drums flesh out some of the songs. There is even a brief flash of banjo and slide guitar on the bluegrass-tinged "Living Room".

Their voices harmonize sweetly one moment and verge on breaking into screams the next. However, lyrically, these women are all spills and uncertainty. "I'm a car crash/And every morning it's a cleanup" they sing on "Underwater". The fact that the words don't move much beyond analyzing a relationship can be a bit grating. Still, the awkward positions and aching described in the lyrics are universal.

This is a disc to play when you're feeling contemplative, hanging out on a rainy afternoon. Listening to another's introspection can inspire some of your own."