Date: October 21, 2009
Author: Chandler Levack
Publication: Eye Weekly
Headline: Tegan & Sara: Sainthood

Editorial Rating: 3 out of 5

Though their Wilson Phillips–meets-a-ha aesthetic seems ready-made for the Grey’s Anatomy soundtrack, Canadian sister duo Tegan and Sara continue to surprise on Sainthood, their sixth full-length studio record. Producer Chris Walla (Death Cab For Cutie) fleshes out their girl-on-girl crushing with a bigger sound than their 2004 breakthrough So Jealous, simplifying the ornamental touches of 2007’s The Con to make room for electronic, radio-friendly flair. “Hell,” a murky, bass-driven dirge that makes the most of the sisters’ eerie harmonies, is the obvious single, while the requisite oddball instrumental is the Tropicalia-influenced “Alligator.” As for lyrics you can plug into an angsty blog post, it doesn’t get anymore tormented than the possessive “On Directing,” in which the sisters yearn for a stand-in for love. Feeling 16 feels alright.