Tegan and Sara – Love You To Death
The identical Quins have always been a fearlessly progressive duo, developing their style with each new release. Love You To Death continues their advance away from the late 90s indie-folk kiln which first fired them, fully discarding the analog to build on the marked synthpop of 2013’s Heartthrob.
But this time Greg Kurstin – gilded producer behind such former chart giants as Kelly Clarkson and Pink – takes the Canadians to a different era of pop. Faint Of Heart and Boyfriend are more Cyndi Lauper than Katy Perry, with reverb-heavy electronic snares and big-hair choruses. Some tracks still have a modern strut (Dying to Know adds a shuffling R'n'B beat to 80s synth basslines; White Knuckles and 100X boast vocal slicing and intricate instrumentation), but the sensibility here is consciously period.
This should be a home run: fist-pumping lyrics sung with their distinctive call-and-response harmonies, hit-machine bridges‘n’breakdowns, the works. But Tegan and Sara colour inside the lines a little too much (Stop Desire and B/W/U are shiny, forgettable filler, and Hang On To The Night is a damp squib closer) for their latest to really zing.