AbsolutePunk.net
   Username
Password
 
Album Review
 
Tegan and Sara - Sainthood Album Cover

Tegan and Sara - Sainthood

Reviewed by
8.5
Tegan and SaraSainthood
Release Date: October 27, 2009
Record Label: Sire/Vapor
This review was written by an AP.net staff member.
“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.

8.5/10
 
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 123
09:50 PM on 10/26/09
#2
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
Offline
User Info.
Drew Beringer's Avatar
98% certain this will be my 2009 AOTY.
09:55 PM on 10/26/09
#3
Argentine
When I die, rap dies; Destiny Bond.
Offline
User Info.
Argentine's Avatar
I'm excited and pumped for this album. I pre-ordered this off iTunes...
AND I NEVER DO THAT.
Great review.
09:55 PM on 10/26/09
#4
:-)
Registered User
Offline
User Info.
:-)'s Avatar
Holy fucking shit, 10 for reviewer tilt?
Whoa.
I'm excited and pumped for this album. I pre-ordered this off iTunes...
AND I NEVER DO THAT.
Great review.
What's wrong with doing it?
10:06 PM on 10/26/09
#5
mrnegativezero
You wanted to set the world on fire
Offline
User Info.
mrnegativezero's Avatar
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.
10:10 PM on 10/26/09
#6
Romancebled
Sleep underground tonight...
Offline
User Info.
Romancebled's Avatar
great review. this album is so damn good. in my top 10 of 2009 for sure.
10:11 PM on 10/26/09
#7
brenByah
Welcome to the Blue Hell
Offline
User Info.
brenByah's Avatar
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.
10:14 PM on 10/26/09
#8
Argentine
When I die, rap dies; Destiny Bond.
Offline
User Info.
Argentine's Avatar
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.
10:17 PM on 10/26/09
#9
WakingTheMisery
<3
Offline
User Info.
WakingTheMisery's Avatar
Negativity right here.
10:18 PM on 10/26/09
TachyonEvan
Batman, for example, and Magellan.
Offline
User Info.
TachyonEvan's Avatar
This has a solid chance at being my AOTY. Two of my favorite artists, period.
10:21 PM on 10/26/09
Burn_Burn_Burn
Zeus to a Kronos
Offline
User Info.
Burn_Burn_Burn's Avatar
gotta give this a listen.
10:21 PM on 10/26/09
brenByah
Welcome to the Blue Hell
Offline
User Info.
brenByah's Avatar
Easily my favorite twin sister guitar duo from Canada, hands down.
10:31 PM on 10/26/09
HometownHero
Offline
User Info.
HometownHero's Avatar
Review seems more then a little biased
10:34 PM on 10/26/09
bladerdude360
saved latin. What did you ever do?
Offline
User Info.
bladerdude360's Avatar
I'm really excited to listen to this, Tegan and Sara has definitely grown on me over the past few years.
10:34 PM on 10/26/09
Whalejaw
_____________
Online
User Info.
Whalejaw's Avatar
I've been listening to this nonstop. Great album, I think it does surpass The Con.

NEWS, MUSIC & MORE
Search News
Release Dates
Exclusives
Best New Music
Articles
CONNECT
Submit News
Forums
Contests
Mobile Version
AP.net Logos
HIDDEN TREASURES
AbsolutePunk Podcast
Free Music
Sports Forum
Technology Forum
Recommendations
INFORMATION
Advertising
Contact Us
Copyright Policy
Terms of Service
Privacy Policy
FOLLOW
Twitter | Facebook | RSS
PropertyOfZack
UnderTheGun
Purevolume
Chorus.fm | @jason_tate