October 10, 2002

Test Spin – Tegan and Sara

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At first glance, Tegan and Sara’s sophomore effort, If It Was You, seems like the customary indie rock album. But the collection of upbeat, rhythmic gems and melodic tunes is so much more. The album opens with the loud, ’80s punk rock inspired “Time Running,” a song complete with its repetitive and simplistic yet catchy hooks, which I found myself mindlessly singing along to. “You Went Away” is another favorite, echoing the smoldering line from the chorus, “Is there more to life than love, and being together?” — telling of a love turned cold. This is actually the theme of the better half of the CD, but Tegan and Sara’s vibrant guitar playing and sing-along rhythms make even the most depressing lyrics cheerful.

“Monday Monday Monday” sounds like T&S took a cue from the Pretenders, a treasure that Chrissie Hynde could have produced. The highlight of the disc would have to be “Don’t Confess (this thing that breaks my heart).” The understated, mellow ballad recalls the soulful crooning of the early ’90s group Mazzy Star.

The sisters’ distinct voices, sweet harmonizing, cool and tortured lyrics, and eclectic use of instruments are sure signs of bigger and better things to come from the Vancouver duo. Avril’s got nothing on these two talented musicians. Well, except for a major record label.

Archived article by Sophia Asare