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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Tegan & Sara
So Jealous
Sanctuary/Vapor

Rating: 7/10 ?


October 1, 2004
This is the kind of album that can mess up a girl's mind. I swear I remember Tegan and Sara as being a band akin to Azure Ray or Tattle Tale or Bonfire Madigan - folky, stripped down, bouyed by wonderfully feminine vocals and hushed confessions. Maybe I was wrong, maybe I'm getting old, or maybe they've just changed things up since I'd heard them last, but So Jealous certainly doesn't ring a bell.

Take the acoustic guitar plucking of Dashboard Confessional, along with his unfathomable rocket to fame, the granola crunch of the Murmurs, a pinch of the Go-Gos and a whole lot of Cyndi Lauper nostalgia, and you've got the new album from Tegan and Sara. I'm not entirely sure who this was made for if not some strange menagerie/time capsule, but it sounds like the album the duo has always wanted to make - it's just not what I anticipated, is all.

Many of the tracks are simply overbearing. There's a lot of overproduction going on, especially in the context of my bare bones memories of the band. It sounds like Tegan and Sara can't quite find the balance they're seeking. Some tracks, like "I Know I Know I Know" or "Speak Slow" are repetitive, overdone and downright cloying. Others, like "You Wouldn't Like Me" and "I Can't Take It" border on plodding, losing interest as they exhaust themselves.

When they hit their stride, though, Tegan and Sara prove why they're so loved by their fans. For every poppy, semi-annoying (yet entirely infectious) number like "Take Me Anywhere," there is a stripped down, subdued affair like "Wake Up Exhausted" or the stellar "Fix You Up" that proves the band is best when at its most sincere, when it is not trying so hard or using so many retro-inspired production props. When exuding natural, folky melodies or easy, relatable emotions, it's hard not to like their work.

While this is definitely a likeable album, and an extremely contagious pop effort at that, it's a hard one to get attached to. Its sheen serves as a shield, protecting us from the hearts of our fair heroines, and that distance is a little offputting. Still, when you sing these songs to yourself for days on end, it's hard to deny the album's power. In all, I'd call home harmonizing a fair success.

Reviewed by Sarah Peters
A former music editor and staff writer for LAS, Sarah Peters recently disappeared. Perhaps one day she will surface again, who knows.

See other reviews by Sarah Peters

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