Tegan and Sara deviate from their indie-rock roots in their seventh studio album, "Heartthrob."
The album features an electronic dance-pop sound, switching up guitars for keyboards and synthesizers. It is musically different, but Tegan and Sara's signature confessional, angst-ridden lyrics remain the same. Relationships and their downfalls are the main topics addressed on the album.
The album's first single and opening track, "Closer," displays the rest of the album's synth-pop sound and relationship theme. It is a fun, energetic song that captures the feelings of youth, love and sex. The song has a good hook with, "So let's make things physical/I won't treat you like you're oh so typical."
"Love They Say" continues with the relationship theme. It is filled with clichés of what "they say" love is, such as "it heals all wounds/removes the hurt in you," and "that it is blind." The song's message shouts "there's nothing love can't do," a line that is repeated throughout the song. Overall, it is catchy and sweet, but with all its clichés it comes across as unoriginal. Following the optimistic love song is "Now I'm All Messed Up," an emotional break-up song. It follows the thoughts of someone hurt, going through the questions that arise during a break up. "Why do you take me down this road if you don't wanna walk with me? Why do you exist all alone when you could just talk to me?" The song is heartfelt and raw, leaving the listener feeling as though they've just been through the same situation, but in a good way.
"I Was a Fool" is another earnest, emotional song. Anyone who has been blindly in love in an unhealthy relationship can relate to this song. Tegan and Sara seem to reminisce on this type of relationship with lyrics such as, "I saved you every time/I was a fool for love," and its eventual downfall in "You best be looking for somebody else."
The album closes with the Madonna-like "Shock to Your System," yet another break-up track. Many can relate to the shock of a break-up where it knocks "your heart right out of sync." It's a song about getting out of that funk. This song's catchy tune and the universally understood feeling of rejection make it a nice end to the album.
Overall, Tegan and Sara succeeded in making a pop album whose lyrics will resonate with many listeners, especially women. Most songs are strong, though some flimsy filler songs weaken the album. Some sound like they were right off a Katy Perry album, which could lose the duo some fans. Their new direction is sure to draw in a new crowd for Tegan and Sara but still maintain enough old fans who will love them for their relatable lyrics. "Heartthrob" is set to be released Tuesday.