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Drew Beringer 10/26/09 09:50 PM

Tegan and Sara - Sainthood
Tegan and SaraSainthood
Release Date: October 27, 2009
Record Label: Sire/Vapor

“I practiced on my sainthood/I gave to one and all/But the rumours of my virtue/They moved her not at all”

The lyrics from Leonard Cohen’s 1976 song, “Came So Far For Beauty,” work as the inspiration behind Sainthood, the sixth studio album from twin sisters Tegan and Sara Quin. For the last ten years, the Canadian musicians have worn their hearts on their sleeves with their music. Starting out as the little folk duo that could, the sisters have matured into one of the finest indie rock bands today. They’ve beautifully grown into their song writing and Sainthood is a testament to that, as it is the finest work of their career.

Yes, the theme of the album still revolves around relationships, but Sainthood features the best lyrics the sisters have ever written. Continuing the trend set on 2007’s The Con, Tegan and Sara’s lyrics go deeper than the typical relationship drama. The struggle, grief, and bitterness bleed and breathe throughout the album. In one instance, Tegan wants to make a relationship work, only to realize it’s futile on the aptly titled, Cure-tinged “The Cure.” Immediately after, Tegan closes herself off to every one on the punk-flavored “Northshore.” The lyrics throughout Sainthood convey many emotions. Frankly, the conversations here are just more adult. Over the eerie, electronic vibe of “Night Watch,” Sara admits, "I need distance from your body / I deserve this anguish on my house." You’d never hear a line like this even five years ago from this band, displaying the lyrical strides Tegan and Sara have made.

But let’s not overlook the music now. Sainthood is Tegan and Sara flexing their muscles. From the stuttering synth and bass patterns on opener “Arrow” to the piano-pop groove of “Alligator,” the compositions from the Quin’s have never been better. Each track sounds confident. First single “Hell” is a guitar-driven rocker right out of Alkaline Trio’s playbook, while “Don’t Rush” features a gritty bass line from Death Cab For Cutie's (and album producer) Chris Walla. A consistent highlight of Sainthood is the prevalence of keys, whether they are in the form of synthesizer or piano, as they really flesh out a good portion of the songs.

The Quin sisters have a knack for closing out their albums strongly, and Sainthood is no different. “Sentimental Tune” is a delicious pop number that is brought to climax with just the right amount of strings, while the vibrant “Someday” displays that internal struggle that the Quin sisters always seem to face. It sums up the message of Sainthood quite nicely; themes of self-assurance, fear, denial, and confidence all exude from the final track, as well as throughout the album.

With Sainthood, Tegan and Sara have proven that they’ve perfected the three-minute-and-under indie pop song while having the lyrical depth to give each track substance. Sainthood delivers a wide variety of moods, tempos, and vibes throughout its thirteen tracks, and it excels in all four phases of the game – lyrics, musicianship, vocals, and production – thus making it one of the essential records to own in 2009. Tegan sings on “Someday” that she “Might write something I might want to say to you someday, might do something I'd be proud of someday. Mark my words, I might be something someday.” With Sainthood, that someday is now.


Additional InformationTrack Listing:
1. Arrow
2. Don’t Rush
3. Hell
4. On Directing
5. Red Belt
6. The Cure
7. Northshore
8. Night Watch
9. Alligator
10. Paperback Head
11. The Ocean
12. Sentimental Tune
13. Someday
Produced by: Chris Walla & Tegan and Sara

Official Website; Official Myspace; Official AP.net Profile

Drew Beringer 10/26/09 09:50 PM

98% certain this will be my 2009 AOTY.

Argentine 10/26/09 09:55 PM

I'm excited and pumped for this album. I pre-ordered this off iTunes...
Great review.

:-) 10/26/09 09:55 PM

Holy fucking shit, 10 for reviewer tilt?

Originally Posted by lalaKR@dr1cx (Post 56316011)
I'm excited and pumped for this album. I pre-ordered this off iTunes...
Great review.

What's wrong with doing it?

mrnegativezero 10/26/09 10:06 PM


Originally Posted by Drew Beringer (Post 56315731)
98% certain this will be my 2009 AOTY.

Man, I knew it was good off of the stream. But AOTY? I think I'll have to buy it and give it a few spins to see if I can agree.

Romancebled 10/26/09 10:10 PM

great review. this album is so damn good. in my top 10 of 2009 for sure.

brenByah 10/26/09 10:11 PM

Have to give this more spins before I rank it, but at this point I still love the Con more. No Tegan and Sara song can stand up to "Nineteen" to me.

Argentine 10/26/09 10:14 PM


Originally Posted by :-) (Post 56316052)
Holy fucking shit, 10 for reviewer tilt?
Whoa. What's wrong with doing it?

I just download illegally, that's all. Nothing wrong with it.

WakingTheMisery 10/26/09 10:17 PM

Negativity right here.

TachyonEvan 10/26/09 10:18 PM

This has a solid chance at being my AOTY. Two of my favorite artists, period.

Burn_Burn_Burn 10/26/09 10:21 PM

gotta give this a listen.

brenByah 10/26/09 10:21 PM

Easily my favorite twin sister guitar duo from Canada, hands down.

HometownHero 10/26/09 10:31 PM

Review seems more then a little biased

bladerdude360 10/26/09 10:34 PM

I'm really excited to listen to this, Tegan and Sara has definitely grown on me over the past few years.

Whalejaw 10/26/09 10:34 PM

I've been listening to this nonstop. Great album, I think it does surpass The Con.