Date: October 8, 2004
Author: Adam McKibbin
Publication: Entertainment Today
Headline: Tegan and Sara - So Jealous
Tegan and Sara exceed expectations on their third album, transcending the tags of “folk-rock” or “acoustic rock” to explore a richly rewarding field of influences, even dusting off a Moog and reaching back into new wave. So Jealous is the duo’s most accomplished and accessible work to date, not only because it branches out, but also because it refines their strength — blissful, charming acoustic pop anthems about romantic sparks and relationships gone (or going) awry. There isn’t a dud in the batch.
The sisters don’t show their full hand right away. Opener “You Wouldn’t Like Me” is an ode to self-doubt that continues along the lines of their last album, If It Was You. “Take Me Anywhere” is a burst of guilt-free pop that rides on peppy percussion and a big sing-along chorus. Even with all the new set dressings, Tegan and Sara are still plenty capable of carrying a song with nothing beyond their dual guitars and distinctive harmonies. There is a lo-fi rawness to the vocals and the production that suits the emotionally threadbare songs. An oddly recurring criticism is that so many of the songs revolve around love and relationships — a criticism that could also be leveled against probably 75 percent of albums through history.
“Speak Slow” and “I Won’t Be Left” are other immediate gems, but So Jealous hits its apex around the midpoint. The title track offers the strongest break from form, beginning with ominously slow synths and abruptly shifting into electric guitar overdrive. Like the album, it lingers longer than expected.